W|W: The Wearable Weekly – Shiny New Apple, Round Pebble, and Cheap Gear

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 grew up this week with the much anticipated release of watchOS 2. The new operating system was released on Monday after being delayed by a bug. watchOS 2 brings with it a variety of new features to the smartwatch include new watch faces, and night stand mode. But the most critical update is support for native apps which give developers access to watch face complications and sensors.

Pebble opts for fashion over function in its latest smartwatch, Pebble Round. In an effort to better compete with Apple Watch and a ton of new fashion-focused Android Wear watches such as the stylish Moto 360 2 and Huawei Watch, Pebble debuted its first round smartwatch, which is available in a variety of colours and straps in two different sizes. This is also Pebble’s lightest and thinnest smartwatch yet, but it comes at a cost to battery life. Where other Pebbles can get up to a week’s worth of use on a single charge, Pebble round will only last two days.

VR is hitting the mainstream hard this holiday season thanks to some major announcements from Oculus. Facebook’s Oculus debuted a cheaper, lighter, and consumer ready Gear VR at this week’s Oculus Connect event. The mobile-powered VR headset will cost only $99, and will be ready for sale this Black Friday. In addition to being the cheapest Gear VR to-date, the device also supports the entire new line of Samsung devices including the Note 5, S6 and, Edge. Oculus also announced the availability of a Netflix app for Gear VR along with upcoming apps from Hulu, Vimeo, and Twitch.


Statistics and Forecast

Smart sports and fitness wearables market to hit $14.9 billion by 2021 (PR Newswire)

Wearable sensors market grow at CAGR 45.2% through 2020 (Industry Today)

74 percent of people in the UK would share wearable tech data with their GP (Wareable)

Smart wearable sales are projected to exceed 305 million units in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55 percent during the next five years, Euromonitor said in a new report (CNBC)

Wearable devices will help wireless carriers drive over $71 billion in additional service revenue by the end of 2020, following a CAGR of nearly 80% between 2015 and 2020 (PR Newswire)


Device Announcements

Pebble launches Pebble Round, a round smartwatch in two styles (MobileSyrup)

Alibaba unveils the Pay Watch (VentureBeat)

London fashion designer Ada + Nik debut Narrative wearable camera enabled biker jacket at Harrods (Telegraph)

Apple Watch coming to Sprint and T-Mobile (TechTimes)

Apple Watch expands its market to Ireland, Austria, and Denmark on September 25 (Apple Insider)

Apple Watch launches in Belgium, Finland, Norway and Poland on October 9 (Mac Rumors)

Omate debuts new smartwatch which will run Android Lollipop (Engadget)

Oculus unveils new Gear VR headset for $99, available this November (MobileSyrup)

Xiaomi and Huaheng Electronic Technology team up to launch AmazeFit under Huami (Wareable)

Android Wear and Moto 360 launch in China (Android Headlines)

Humon, a wearable for athletes that monitors lactic acid, launches its alpha program (TechCrunch)


Funding, Crowdfunding, and M&A

Disney leads $65M investment in VR startup Jaunt VR (Fast Company)

GLNeuroTech secures $1.9M for wearables and apps for Parkinson’s disease (HIT Consultant)

Boston-based Whoop raises $12.5M led by Two Sigma Ventures (Beta Boston)


Major Milestones

Apple releases watchOS 2 for Apple Watch (Fortune)

Samsung’s S Health app now available on all Android phones (Engadget)

Netflix launches for Gear VR with Twitch, Vimeo and Hulu coming soon (MobileSyrup)

Discovr Labs builds interface and technology to let teachers use VR as teaching tools (TechCrunch)

Cartoon Network launches Adventure Time VR game for Gear VR (VentureBeat)

Monument Valley creators launching Lands End VR game in October on Gear VR (Mashable)

Osterhout Design Group partners with Paramount Pictures to showcase the future of in-flight entertainment (BusinessWire)

Runtastic app updates to support Runtastic Moment smartwatch (Windows Central)

Facebook launches support for 360-degree video (MobileSyrup)

Sleep++ launches as first sleep tracking app for Apple Watch (MobileSyrup)

BuzzFeed launches tamagotchi-like app for Apple Watch (MobileSyrup)


Rumours

Microsoft Band 2 leaked (MobileSyrup)

Luxury smartphone maker Vertu eyeing wearable market next (CNET)

Microsoft HoloLens expected in five years, developers to get prototype 2016 (TechTimes)


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Feature image: Intel
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.