W|W: The Wearable Weekly – Wearables get pumped up

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

Wearables are expected to have a banner year growing 173.3% year-over-year according to IDC’s latest report. IDC forecasts that 72.1 million wearables will ship globally, up from 26.4 million in 2014. Although IDC suggests that basic wearables (like fitness bands) will continue to be the leading category this year, smart wearables like smartwatches are expected to dominate by 2019.

Hexoskin’s biometric shirts have launched in Best Buy Canada, making them the first smart clothing to be sold by Best Buy in North America. This move is big for Hexoskin but is also a huge boost for the emerging smart clothing category. This category had previously received an injection of confidence via Google’s Project Jacquard announcement, including a partnership with Levis, at Google I/O earlier this year.

A vote of confidence was not what the FDA was giving in its release of a draft guidance document outlining its thinking around low-risk medical devices such as wearable health trackers. The document essentially indicated that FDA won’t vigorously regulate devices that aren’t harmful and promote healthy habits. But wearable companies like Samsung are lobbying to make these guidelines more explicit.


Statistics & Forecasts

Wearable tech forecasted to grow 173.3% YOY, reaching 72.1 million units shipped globally in 2015, according to IDC’s latest report (IDC)

Traditional wristwatch numbers fell 9% between April and May of this year with signs pointing to the Apple Watch as one reason for the decline, says FSWI report (Cult of Mac)

Virtual Reality Market Worth $15.89 Billion by 2020, says new report from MarketsandMarkets (MarketWatch)

Wearable Computing Market Worth $34.61 Billion by 2020, according to a report from MarketsandMarkets (MarketWatch)

Cumulative Wearable Device Shipments to Surpass 750 Million Units by 2020, according to Tractica (BusinessWire)

US Enterprise wearable units sold by 2019 to reach 20,077,000 according to new report from Compass Intelligence (M2M Now)

Only 15% of physicians are discussing wearables or health apps with patients, according to survey by MedPanel (HIT Consultant)

Interest in the Apple Watch has outpaced the iPhone, according to Morgan Stanley Research (Ubergizmo)


Device Announcements

Google announced a new wrist-worn wearable for health professionals to use to monitor patients vitals (CNET)

Pain relief wearable Quell is now available in Canada (MobileSyrup)

Hexoskin launched its smart clothing in Best Buy Canada (BetaKit)

Fitbit announced it will be launching its wearables in India on July 1 (Quartz)

Pebble time goes on sale in Best Buy US and Pebble website starting at $200 (MobileSyrup)

Royal Carribean rolls out RFID wristbands for its Anthem of the Seas cruise ship line (Financial Express)


Funding, Crowdfunding, and M&A

GyroGlove, the company behind a glove that stabilizes the hands of people living with Parkinson’s, won the £10,000 F Factor prize (Wired UK)

Sano raises $10 million in seed funding for its metabolic health tracker (TechCrunch)

Matterform raised $30 million dollars in growth funding from Qualcomm and Singapore’s GIC for it for its AR and VR content platform (VentureBeat)

Loopd, wearable tech for events, has closed a $1.5 million dollar bridge fund led by Marc Benioff, Tim Draper, and Mesh Ventures (MarketWatch)

Kopin Corporation Divests Interest In Recon Instruments (BusinessWire)

ROAR, the wearable tech aimed at protecting women from sexual assault, raised its first round of funding in the amount of $150,000 from Untours Foundation and Ben Franklin Technology Partners (Technical.ly)


Major Milestones

Intel has launched an Android app for its smart bracelet MICA (Android Police)

Google is taking applications for creators to test out its VR rig Project Jump (9to5 Google)

NextVR and FOX Sports announced a partnership which will see the 2015 U.S. Open streamed in VR, making it the first ever live VR sports broadcast (PSFK)

Ford announced that it will be releasing a MyFord app extension for smartwatches including Android Wear (SlashGear)

The Weather Network and 680 News launched Apple Watch apps (MobileSyrup)

Groupon added Apple Watch support (TechCrunch)

NextWorth trade-in program adds Apple Watch (MarketWatch)

Spotify updated with support for Android Wear (9to5 Google)

Android Wear gets new watchfaces from Hello Kitty, Angry Birds and 15 other mega brands (MobileSyrup)


Rumours

Amazon patent suggests that it might be entering the smart glasses race (VentureBeat)

Disney is said to be exploring the use of virtual reality for its Disney Infinity brand (Reuters)


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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.