W|W: The Wearable Weekly – Smart hair, connected mouthguards & AR driving glasses

Welcome to The Wearable Weekly, your trusted guide to all things wearable tech. If you only have time to read one thing about wearables this week, this is it.
 
 
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Industry Highlights

Unofficial Apple Watch estimates are in and the Watch was a runaway success by smartwatch standards. First day estimates suggest Apple sold 1 million in the U.S. when the device opened for pre-orders, with some analysts suggesting that over 2 million have been ordered so far. But don’t expect to walk into the store and buy the watch anytime soon. According to a memo from Apple, the Watch will only be available for purchase online until June.

We already wear sunglasses while driving so why not make them smart? BMW unveiled its AR smart glasses prototype created in partnership with Qualcomm at the Shanghai Auto Show. The glasses give users new viewing angles, access to notifications and augmented parking. Meanwhile, Ferrari was also showing off its use of AR this week in a new AR app that allows potential buyers to see endless auto combinations on the showroom floor.

From smart hair to connected mouthguards, this week proved everything is getting connected. Although still experimental, beauty tech designer, Katia Vega showcased Hairware at the IUI user interface conference in Atlanta. Hairware  are smart hair extensions that let you control your smartphone with a stroke of your hair. Moving from your hair to your mouth, Ireland’s SelfSense announced it has developed a connected mouthguard that will monitor your teeth grinding and then send all this information to your dentist.


Statistics & Forecasts

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that global pre-orders for Apple Watch have exceeded 2.3 million units (Mac Rumors)

Apple Watch reportedly sold one million Apple Watches day of pre-order in the US according to Slice (MobileSyrup)

Morgan Stanley survey results indicate a 15M Apple Watch demand, over 60% higher than the 9M estimated three months ago (Barrons)

In the Piper Jaffray Spring 2015 survey of ~6,200 US teens, 5% of teens claimed to own a smartwatch vs 7% in Fall 2014. and 11% of teens stated that they intend to purchase an Apple Watch vs 16% in Fall-14 (Barrons)

Juniper research suggests that smartwatch ad spend will be an estimated $1.5 million this year, increasing to $70 million by 2019 (ZDNET)

A survey by YouGov found that more than half (56%) of people in the UK who are looking to buy wearables have said they will buy wearables online (Marketing Magazine UK)

4 in 10 people would use wearable technology from their employer, with this number rising to over half (56%) if people know the information will be used to improve their wellbeing at work (PwC)

Wearables, Mobile Health Applications to Reach $32 Billion says IHS Technology (mHealth Intelligence)

68% of patients with MS said wearable tech would help them manage and track MS says Biogen study (BizJournal)


Device Announcements

ASUS VivoWatch | fitness wearable | TBD (Engadget)

SmartSplint | connected mouthguard | 2015 (Ireland only) (Irish Times)

BMW Mini Smart glasses | AR smart glasses | Prototype (PSFK)

Gameband | wearable Minecraft wristband | Available Now (Engadget)

Nixon’s Ultratide | surfer smartwatch | April 2015 (Wired)

Merge VR | smartphone-powered VR headset | Fall 2015 (Re/code)

Baidu’s DuWear | Android-based OS smartwatch | April 2015 (ZDNET)

Jawbone Up3 | fitness band | Available Now (Engadget)

Jawbone Up4 | fitness band with AMEX payments | Summer 2015 (Engadget)


Funding, Crowdfunding and M&A

Google announced it has acquired Skillman & Hackett, the virtual reality studio responsible for a well-liked art application called Tilt Brush (Re/code)


Major Milestones

Recon Instruments officially launched the Jet, now shipping (MobileSyrup)

IBM launched Watson Health Cloud to let your doctor see your wearable data (Fast Company)

eHarmony introduced support for Android Wear, Samsung Gear S Smartwatches (BusinessWire)

1Password arrived on Apple Watch (MobileSyrup)

Sony and IFTTT teamed up to launch an IFTTT Sony Lifelog channel for its wearables (SlashGear)

WayForward unveiled the first official Apple Watch game Watch Quest! (IGN)

Sony unveiled a new Project Morpheus demo at the Unity’s Unite conference in Japan (VRFocus)

Vuzix announced the acquisition of 2 new patents in the wearable display space (PRNewswire)

ARM buys two low-power IoT firms to launch Cordio for wearables (ZDNET)

Toshiba unveiled low power control technology for wearables with multiple sensors (BusinessWire)


Rumours

Google X research teams working on projects to improve lithium-ion and solid-state batteries which could be used in Google Glass (WSJ)

Patent suggests that next Google Glass could be getting eye-tracking (Ubergizmo)

Rock Band 4 to use virtual reality? (Gamespot)

LG awarded patent for bendable smartphone-smartwatch hybrid (MobileSyrup)


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Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

Sometimes called the “man from the future” Tom Emrich is a leading voice in wearable technology as an investor, community builder and influencer. His passion for this space is driven by his belief that wearable tech plays a critical role in our human evolution.