W|W: The Wearable Weekly – smart glasses strike back

Microsoft Hololens

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

Google Glass 2 is coming and this time it’ll be fashionable. Italian eyewear company Luxottica confirmed that they are currently working on the next iteration of Google Glass, which will be “coming soon.” In addition, the company also confirmed that it is working on its own device in partnership with Intel, which is expected to be available in February or March of next year.

Microsoft demoed applications for HoloLens at BUILD this week. According to Wired it’s “no gimmick” and “one of the most exciting new technologies we have.” Microsoft showed HoloLens in action as a valuable tool for research, education and other professional settings.

VR gets boost from GoPro, NY Times, Conde Nast and more. This week saw big news for virtual reality. BI released its report forecasting that the VR hardware market will reach over $2.8 billion by 2020. GoPro purchased VR software company Kolor, Jaunt launched a VR movie studio with Lucasfilm vets and SamsungNY Times and Conde Nast unveiled content for VR headsets.

Statistics & Forecasts

VR shipments will create a $2.8 billion hardware market by 2020 according to forecasts from Business Insider (BI)

ON World survey finds female early adopters prefer the form and fashion features of the Apple Watch but are still choosing Fitbit over Apple by 3 to 1 (Benzinga)

1.7 million US Apple Watch orders to date (as at April 27, 2015) and 22% of them shipped says Slyce (9to5 Mac)

25% of University of Berkley survey participants said privacy was top concern for wearables (IT World)

77% of respondents have fewer than ten apps installed on their Android Wear watches says 9to5 Google poll (9to5 Google)

NPD Group is predicting that 9% of American adults will own a smartwatch by the fourth quarter of 2016 (Mobile Health News)

Device Announcements

Luxottica’s CEO confirmed it is working on a new version of Google Glass to be coming out “soon” (MobileSyrup)

Luxottica’s CEO announced it is working on a device in partnership with Intel to launch in February or March of next year (WSJ)

Samsung and Mybitat announced partnership to create wearables for the ageing population (Silicon Republic)

Tag Heurer Android-Wear powered smartwatch to cost $1,400 USD, available in November of this year (MobileSyrup)

Impression Pi VR headset updated to support 3D augmented reality (Slashgear)

LG Urbane smarwatch added to Google Play store, on sale for $399 CAD (MobileSyrup)

Funding, Crowdfunding and M&A

VR video platform EEVO has raised $1 million in its first round of seed funding (RtoVR)

Playertek, a sports wearable company, has raised €1m investment from Danu Investment Partners and entrepreneur Branden Gilmore (Silicon Republic)

Caeden has raised $1.6 million in funding to bring to market a screenless leather wristband equipped for health monitoring (Fashionista)

AR company Visidraft has raised a $250,000 seed round led by Hivers & Strivers (DCInno)

GoPro announced they have purchased Kolor, a French company that specializes in virtual reality software (Verge)

Major Milestones

Samsung debuted ‘MY 360’ web series for its virtual reality platform Milk VR (Tubefilter)

The New York Times launched a VR experience “Walking New York” in partnership with VRSE (Wired)

Conde Nast announced they have partnered with Jaunt Studios to release two virtual reality series, one scripted and one unscripted, this year (AdWeek)

Jaunt announced the launch of Jaunt Studios, a VR movie studio with Lucasfilm vets (Verge)

Tencent unveiled a new operating system for smart things and wearables (TechCrunch)

Epic Games and Valve announced Unreal Engine 4 support for SteamVR with the HTC Vive virtual reality headset (Slashgear)

Trimble architecture and structural engineering firm partners with Microsoft to create a HoloLens demo (MarketWatch)

Intel restructures impact, its wearable tech division (Readwrite)

Google announced 70+ new app partners for Google Now cards (Wareable)

Microsoft gains patent to use augmented reality glasses to read emotional reactions on faces (PC World)

Unity announced support for the upcoming Microsoft HoloLens (TechCrunch)


Mystery Google Glass like device sent to FCC, hinting at new Glass device (Engadget)

Samsung has reportedly teamed up with artists such as Romero Britto, based in Miami, and brands such as Z Zenga, Swarovski, Tech21, Anymode and Incipio to help sell its up coming smartwatches (Techno Buffalo)

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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.

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