W|W: The Wearable Weekly – Wearables grow up

The Recon Jet, circa 2015.

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

Fitbit became the second US wearable company to go public this week and boy did they do it in a big way. The company priced its IPO at $20 a share, way up from its original estimates of $14-$16. Shares of the company jumped as much as 60% in their debut Thursday, valuing the company at $6.5 billion.

Intel acquired smart glasses manufacturer Recon Instruments this week, terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Recon had previously received funds from Intel Capital. CEO Dan Eisenhardt said in a blog post on the Recon site that the “acquisition will allow Recon to expand the use of its technology to new markets and use cases.”

Statistics & Forecasts

Apple Watch expected to push global shipments of wearable devices to 45-50 million units in 2015, a 125-150 percent increase from the 20 million units total shipped in 2014 according to sources in Taiwan supply chain. (DigiTimes)

AR and VR device sales will rise  2.5 million this year, to a whopping 24 million in 2018 says CCS Insight. (Forbes)

Device Announcements

Six15 technologies unveiled its INFINITY smart glasses and platform (BusinessWire)

Starbreeze unveiled its virtual reality headset “StarVR” at E3 (PC World)

Vuzix opened up pre-order sales for its new high-definition iWear video headphones (MarketWatch)

Sony Morpheus virtual reality headset will go on sale in 2016 for “several hundred dollars” (Gizmodo)

Moto 360 now receiving Android Wear 5.1.1 bringing with it WiFi support (MobileSyrup)

Apple Watch can now be purchased in-store at Apple (MobileSyrup)

VA-ST, augmented reality glasses for the blind, to go on sale later this year (Mashable)

Funding, Crowdfunding, and M&A

Intel acquired Vancouver-based smart glasses startup Recon Instruments (BetaKit)

Fitbit Inc priced its initial public offering at $20 per share, valuing the company at about $4.1 billion (Reuters)

APX Labs raised $10 million dollars in a Series B which included Salesforce Ventures (Business Insider)

BCI startup NeuroLutions announced it has raised $1.15 million for its wearable robotic solutions for stroke victims (Neurogadget)

Doppler Labs announced investments from Live Nation Entertainment, WME and Universal Music Group (PR Newswire)

Major Milestones

Lucasfilm, Skywalker Sound, and Industrial Light & Magic announced the formation of ILM Experience Lab to create virtual and augmented reality experiences for Star Wars which will debut later this year (The Verge)

AltSpaceVR opens its virtual reality chat room to all (TechCrunch)

Misfit launched the “My Misfit” web portal to manage health data (Slashgear)

Nuance and APX Labs announced a partnership to integrate voice into the APX Labs’ enterprise smart glasses platform (PR Newswire)

Microsoft announced a partnership to support upcoming VR device Valve (CNET)

AT&T announced it is adding six more wearables for sale later this month, making it the carrier with the most wearable offerings in the US (CNET)

FOX Sports announced it will be using NextVR to broadcast 2015 U.S. Open in virtual reality (SportTechie)

Razer officially announced Android support for its open virtual reality platform OSVR (Droid Gamers)


Apple patent suggests “multi-modal physiological sensing system” may be coming to Apple Watch (Patently Apple)

Apple Watch 2 rumoured to use LG as sole supplier of the screen (Phone Arena)

Apple Watch 2 rumoured to feature camera with FaceTime video calling support (MobileSyrup)

Nokia was rumoured to be working on a smarwatch with code name “Moonraker” before being purchased by Microsoft (MobileSyrup)

New design patent suggests possible look for Google Glass 2 (Quartz)

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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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