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!
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)