W|W: The Wearable Weekly – Hello Apple Watch!

Apple Watch

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.
Don’t forget to subscribe to The Wearable Weekly using the form below to make sure it hits your email inbox every week!

Industry Highlights

Apple Watch is officially here and so are the apps. This week we saw over 3,000 Apple Watch compatible apps become available just in time for the April 24 launch. In addition to Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, and the NY Times, which are featured in a “Getting Started” section in the Apple Watch store, brands are definitely eyeing Apple Watch as a lucrative opportunity, with big name airlines, restaurants, and banks included in the initial catalogue.

Apple Watch is putting pressure on other players in the smartwatch space, which was reflected in a lot of activity this week. Google announced the biggest Android Wear update yet, making the smartwatch much more independent with WiFi support as well as “always-on app” and new drawing emoji features which are definitely aimed to help it compete with Apple’s new device. Meanwhile, the Moto 360 went on sale, LG teased us with the imminent launch of the LG Urbane, and Samsung opened up developer applications for its upcoming smartwatch developer kit.

VR isn’t just fun and games. Although most of the emphasis for virtual reality has been on entertainment, this week was filled with lots of news about how VR can be used for therapy, education, and more – from assisting glaucoma patient safety to curing air sickness and teaching organ dissections.  VentureBeat put together a great list illustrating the breadth of impact this technology can have on our lives, while Wired published a must-read interview with Oculus founder Palmer Luckey exploring VR’s social good.

Statistics & Forecasts

Quantified self markets will reach $12.6 billion by 2019 says CLSAU report (Benzinga)

By 2016, 9% of the U.S. adult population will own a smartwatch says NDP group report (Datamation)

60 million households will own at least one fitness tracker by 2019 according to research by Parks Associates (HIT Consultant)

Technavio has published a new report on the smart glasses market for augmented reality (AR), which is expected to grow at a CAGR 194.2% from 2015-2019 (MarketWatch)

42% percent of employees who use mobile for work said they either already own a smartwatch or plan to buy one according to survey from MobileIron (BI)

63% of CIOs said they believe wearable computing devices will become common workplace tools in a survey developed by Robert Half Technology (CNW)

62% of enterprises are using, piloting or planning to use smartwatches in the enterprise in the next two years says this Salesforce report (CNN Money)

Apple watch launch courts nearly 10 million shoppers according to insights from Prosper (Forbes)

8% of people surveyed said they’re interested in purchasing the Apple Watch, only 18% are interested in buying a wearable device at all according to CG report (IB Times)

Global brain computer interface market is expected to reach $1.46 billion by 2020 according to Allied Market Research (PRNewswire)

Device Announcements

Swimmo | swimmer’s smartwatch | October 2015 (Kickstarter)

Quanttus | sensor-packed wristband | 2015 in limited quantities (Wired UK)

Acer Leap Fit | fitness band | TBD (MobileSyrup)

Acer Leap | curved OLED fitness band | TBD (MobileSyrup)

Major Milestones

Apple launched an App Store for Apple Watch, complete with 3,000+ apps (CNET)

Apple Watch officially launches, now on sale online and in-store (to some lines) in select boutique stores around the world, and pre-order shipments begin to arrive (Apple Insider)

Android Wear got its biggest update yet (rolling out to Urbane first and others in next coming weeks), bringing WiFi, always-on apps and emoji (MobileSyrup)

Valve opened up applications to get free Vive (VR headset in partnership with HTC) to develop VR solutions (MobileSyrup)

LG announced the LG Urbane smartwatch will be released this month, no exact date provided  (MobileSyrup)

Samsung opened up applications for its next smartwatch to developers (MobileSyrup)

Jawbone has finally begun shipping UP3 (Forbes)

Google rolled out the Google Cardboard certification program for 3rd party headsets, improved search for Cardboard app and new app design guidelines (Engadget)

Microsoft appointed former Lionhead Studios boss, John Needham, in charge of internal development for games and experiences on Microsoft’s Xbox and HoloLens platforms (Engadget)

Microsoft updated Microsoft Band to include greater integrations including Microsoft Health app for iOS and Android (Verge)

Intel announced partnership with SPRING to support IoT and wearable development in Singapore (Channel News Asia)

AR leader Augment launched for Salesforce on Salesforce AppExchange (PR Newswire)

Apple unveiled new and exclusive Sport band colours (BGR)


The next Samsung smartwatch will almost certainly have a round watch face (MobileSyrup)

New Google Glass patent leak may hint at what the next version of Glass will look like (9to5 Google)

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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.

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