W|W: The Wearable Weekly – March 6, 2015

Apple Watch

Welcome to the very first edition of 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!


Industry Highlights

Apple Watch frenzy… it’s almost time! Despite Mobile World Conference launching tons of wearables this week, the event in Barcelona was overshadowed by the Apple Watch. Pics of Apple Watch magazine fashion spreads, watch app emulators, and cynic/fanboy speculations flooded this week’s headlines as the excitement grows leading up to the March 9th Apple event. Expect most of your tech feeds to be dominated by Apple’s first wearable for the next three months or so.

Pebble killed it on Kickstarter… again, regaining its crown as the most funded campaign on the crowdfunding platform. The success is a huge feather in the cap for Pebble. But it also builds tons of confidence in what we might expect from the Apple Watch, which in turn would be good for the smartwatch category and wearable space overall.

VR is going to happen this year if the industry has anything to do with it. HTC, Valve, Sony, Samsung and Oculus all made virtual reality announcements at MWC and GDC this week. Although a lot of the excitement was around the hardware, the most important thing to note are the major partners on board who are committed to creating VR content that will be key for this category to fly.

Brands continue to use absurd wearable ideas as a marketing opportunity to ride the wearable wave. Can you blame them? Last month it was the Tokyo Marathon using a connected banana and wearable tomato robot. This month Pornhub gave us the Wankband. You fill in the blanks.


Statistics

Global Smart Wearable Fitness & Sports Devices and Services Market are expected to grow CAGRs of 25.38% (devices) and 29.90 (services) from 2014-2019 (TechNavio)

In February, smarwatches accounted for 20% of casual wearable tech print ads in Canada while health and fitness trackers made up 77% (GfK)

32% of consumers are interested in purchasing Oculus Rift, or a similar device (Walker Sands)


Device Launches

HTC Vive | VR headset | Dev edition Spring 2015 & Consumer End of Year

HTC Grip | Fitness wristband | Spring 2015

Huawei Watch | Android Wear smartwatch | TBA

Huawei TalkBand N1 | Biometric earbuds | May 2015

Huawei TalkBand B2 | Fitness wristband & Bluetooth headset | April 2015

LG Urbane LTE | Standalone smartwatch with LG OS | TBA

Samsung Gear VR for Galaxy S6 | Smartphone powered VR headset | TBA

Sony Morpheus | VR headset | Sometime in 2016

Pebble Time | Pebble smartwatch with color screen | May 2015

Pebble Time Steel | Metal version of Pebble Time | July 2015

Quell | Legband which promises to relieve pain | June 2015

Stryd | Wearable power meter for runners | September 2015

AmbyGear | Smartwatch for kids | Summer 2015


Funding, Crowdfunding & Acquisitions

Quell raises its $100,000 goal on Indiegogo in 48 hours (Business Wire)

Stryd doubles its funding goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter in first two days (Slash Gear)

Fitbit officially acquired personal training app Fitstar for an undisclosed amount (MobileSyrup)


Major Milestones

Myo completes shipping of pre-orders & goes on sale on Amazon.com (BetaKit)

Withings Activité and the Activité Pop gain Android support (MobileSyrup)

Android Wear app surpasses 1 million downloads (Gigaom)

Apple Watch wins the prestigious iF design award before it even launches (CNET)


Rumours

Google is reportedly releasing an Android Wear iOS app to bring iPhone and iPad support to Android Wear smartwatches (CNET)

Huawei’s sexy new Android Wear watch may cost as much as $1,000 (BGR)

Apple Watch pricing could be as much as $325 for an entry-level device and as high as $7,500 for the luxury version (BI)

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.