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. Enjoy!
Apple has confirmed pricing, availability and the retail experience for the Apple Watch. Pricing starts at $449 CAD for the Sport Watch which is the lowest of three tiers with its luxury Edition watch starting at $13,000 CAD. Pre-orders open April 10 with the Watch available April 24.
The Apple Watch cometh and so others must leave. Re/Code reports that Apple has removed Nike FuelBand and Jawbone UP fitness trackers in its stores in preparation for the April 24 Apple Watch.
The U.S. Feds are getting into wearables as the Department of Homeland Security has teamed up with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology to create a new accelerator program called Emerge, aimed at creating wearable technology for first responders.
Disney is considering showcasing its theme parks in virtual reality according to the company’s Imagineering creative technical design lead Bei Yang.
Statistics & Forecasts
KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts shipments of between 5 million and 6 million Apple Watch units in the first half of 2015, growing to between 15 million and 20 million units in all of 2015.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicts that the Apple Watch will sell 8 million units in 2015 that will generate about $4.4 billion in revenue.
Himax estimates Microsoft HoloLens will sell 25-75 million in 3 years
Over 4 million smartwatches sold in 2014, Samsung #1 says Statista
87% say “Nope” to Apple Watch on MobileSyrup survey (currently at 3,200+ voters)
Apple Watch | smartwatch | April 24
(9 countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US) (Apple)
Qualcomm Dragon Board 410c | low-cost board for developers & makers | Summer 2015
Funding, Crowdfunding and M&A
Spanish wearable camera startup FirstV1sion received €60,000 in funding from Telefonica for a 7% stake in the startup
Augmented reality ad platform Blippar raised $45 million in new funding from undisclosed investors
Silicon Valley chip companies Cypress and Spansion completed a $5 Billion All-Stock Merger
InteraXon launched the brain-sensing headband Muse in the UK
Smart shirt company Hexoskin awarded “People’s Choice” Award for “Connected Body Product” in the Postscapes Internet of Things Competition
Motorola updated Moto Maker to let users build their own Motorola 360 smartwatch
Salesforce is the first enterprise Apple Watch app
Nike opened up Nike+ to Garmin, TomTom, Wahoo Fitness and Netpulse
Google launched online “Google Store” to sell hardware
Google launched first own-brand retail store in the UK along with CardboardVR app for others to explore
Huawei Watch expected to retail for €349 (approximately $379 USD / $468 CAD)
Android Wear rumoured to be getting WiFi and Gesture Control in next update
Google secretly working major project to bring virtual reality to Android
Apple Watch to see new materials this Fall