W|W: The Wearable Weekly – Smart Clothing and The Power of the Mind

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

Smart clothing suits up this week: There was a lot of buzz in the smart clothing category of wearable tech this week, especially here in Canada where Athos launched it EMG-enabled smart fitness wear at SportChek. Athos continued to make waves with its announcement of closing a $35.5 million Series C investment. Meanwhile, Juniper published a recent report which forecasts that the fitness wearables sector will grow to $10 billion by 2020, with smart clothing a significant driver.

Unlocking the power of the mind with wearable tech: Thalmic Labs’ Myo was shown in a whole new light this week as its EMG gesture control tech was used as part of a system to help a man control a robotic arm with his mind. BCI (or brain-computer interface) was also the focus of a recent episode of Wired‘s “Cyborg Nation” which showcased the potential of a recent Kickstarter project, OpenBCI.


Statistics & Forecasts

Juniper research expects the fitness wearables sector to grow to $10 billion by 2020, up from $3.3 billion in 2015 (Wareable)

Wearable device shipments in 2015 are estimated at 68.1 million units, according to global market research firm TrendForce. In 2016, annual wearable shipments are expected to grow 64 percent to above 112 million units (Business Wire)


Device Announcements

Athos smart clothing makes its Canadian debut at SportChek (Toronto Life)

Withings unveils its third fitness tracker the Activité Steel (MobileSyrup)

Movado unveils its Bold Motion smartwatch “Engineered by HP” (The Verge)

Apple releases official magnetic charging dock for Apple Watch (Mashable)

Apple Watch Link bracelet kit now available in Space Black (MacWorld)


Funding, Crowdfunding & M&A

APX Labs closes $13 million investment for its Enterprise Smart Glasses Platform (TechCrunch)

TuringSense raises $3 million in seed funding for its tennis wearables (MobiHealthNews)

Research team at UC Berkeley awarded Microsoft Hololens Academic Research grant in amount of $100,000 (Campus Technology)

Sensegiz smartwatch company raises $500,000 from from Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Capital Fund (Economic Times of India)

Fitness apparel startup Athos raised $35.5 million in Series C (Forbes)

Flexible smartwatch watch band, Shift, reaches funding goal Kickstarter (Kickstarter)

Figment VR smartphone VR case aims to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter (Kickstarter)


Major Milestones

Apple Pay launches in Canada for American Express cardholders (MobileSyrup)

Altspace VR announced a partnership with Dungeons & Dragons to bring the infamous game to VR (Forbes)

Mondelez partners with STRAP to use wearable fitness data for latest Trident gum campaign (Mobile Marketer)

Google released API 23 for Android Wear to developers bringing Marshmallow to smartwatches (9to5 Google)

Apple Watch tops list of IBM Watson generated holiday gift trends (Cult of Mac)

CVS launches an Apple Watch app to alert customers when their prescriptions are ready (MobiHealthNews)

Google Fit updated with personal trainer for Android Wear and more (NDTV)

The Lion King musical launches VR experience (WIRED)


Rumours

CCS Insight expects Google to join the cost effective fitness tracker race next year (Wareable)

Next generation Apple Watch said to be in the works for 2016 (CNET)

Patent suggests Microsoft may use sound as a new input for gesture in future wearables (Patently Apple)

Google’s Glass team working on three new prototypes including a Google Glass without a screen (MobileSyrup)


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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.