Welcome to the latest edition of And finally, the only place to catch up on all of the wearable tech news from the week.
One the site this week, we put Fitbit’s new Sleep Score feature to the test, looked back at our big wearable predictions for 2018 and then looked forward to next year with our roundup of the new smartwatches landing in 2019.
We’ve also saved up three more stories to tuck into, plus give you a quick recap of all the biggest stories from the week. Enjoy.
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Snap Spectacles get another new boss
There’s a change at the helm once again as SnapLab, the team responsible for bringing Snap Spectacles to life is getting its third new boss in just six months. Sahil Sharma, Snapâs VP of hardware development is set to be replaced by Steen Strand in February 2019. The turnover of bosses in such a short space of time doesn’t exactly paint a great picture of the camera-packing wearable.
Especially when there have been rumors that Snap is planning a more advanced pair of Spectacles for this year. With time running out though and these managerial changes, it’s seems highly unlikely a pair of new glasses will be squeezed out before the end of 2018.
Snap’s long-term goal still appears to be to eventually make a pair of AR smartglasses and it’s nice to see that Snap is continuing to work on hardware. Hopefully someone can stick around long enough to see the vision through and ensure this investment in hardware pays off.
Jose Mourinho ditched player tracking wearables at Manchester United
Jose Mourinho was given the boot at Manchester United this week and it was revealed that the former Special One decided to get rid of the player tracking systems that pretty much every Premier League club uses to monitor physical performance during his time at the club.
Interestingly, the wearable that dishes out metrics like sprints, speed and distance covered was ditched in favour of monitoring fitness using intuition as opposed to the data.
Not soon after Mourinho joined the club in 2016, he decided to scrap use of the GPS tech for the first team squad on the recommendation of his former assistant Rui Faria. Despite having a contract with STATSports who announced its consumer-friendly Apex system this year, the tech was only used with academy and under-23 teams.
Use of the system was re-introduced when Faria left his position at the end of the 2017/18 season. Clearly its reintroduction didn’t stop Mourinho’s team from enduring its worst start to a season in 28 years.
Dark Sky finally comes to Wear OS
The extremely useful hyperlocal weather app has been knocking about on iOS and Android for a few years now, and there’s been an Apple Watch app for a fair while too. Now Wear smartwatch owners can enjoy up to date reports on whether they need to grab a coat as the Dark Sky Wear OS app has now gone live.
Available to download from the Google Play Store, Dark Sky promises down-to-the-minute forecasts, rain notification alerts, severe weather alerts along with 7-day and 24 hour forecasts. Some of the most useful features though will require an annual Â£2.99 subscription. Though existing subscribers can get these features for free.
For the Wear OS version there’s also support for watch face complications to pull that data into your main watch face. If you don’t already have a go-to weather app on your Wear watch, this just might be the one you need in your life.
If you’re looking for more app inspiration, check out our round-up of the best Wear apps to download first.
Suunto’s new Movesense projects
The company best known for its rugged sports watches decided to open up its its sensor-packed Movesense hardware and software platform in recent years for others to build the tech into their own products. With CES 2019 on the horizon, Suunto has revealed five new wearables that will be packing its Movesense tech.
The pick of the new bunch are Konect Sports (pictured above) that’s using the tech to build a reaction, speed and agility training system that allows coaches and athletes to track and analyze data. Morph Wear is a Movesense-powered wearable for swimmers that offers greater insights into training efficiency. W2ND uses
built-in non-medical ECG capabilities to calculate a real-time lactate threshold measurement. The wearable is designed for elite athletes and anyone that want to improve endurance.
All of the new projects will be shown off at CES 2019, which takes place in January next year and we’ll be at the show to get a closer look.
In case you missed it
We get it, you’re a busy person. You’ve got presents to buy and parties to go to. We know you’d love to keep up with all the latest happenings in the world of wearables, but sometimes it’s just not possible.
So here’s what you missed. Fitbit rolled out a big update for the Versa and Ionic smartwatches bringing a dashboard that shows a lot more of your data and also introduces whole bunch of new third party apps. Fitbit OS 3.0 let’s you see more details about your exercise and sleep with apps from MySwimPro, Couch to 5K, Genius Wrist also incoming.
It wasn’t just Fitbit’s smartwatches that got some update love. A Fitbit Charge 3 update is now live bringing Run Detect, new clock faces and notification support for Windows smartphone owners.
There was a breakthrough for serious health monitoring wearables as Omron received FDA clearance for its HeartGuide blood pressure monitoring smartwatch. The wrist wear is able to take oscillometric blood pressure readings from the wrist. With the regulatory clearance it is now something a doctor could use to track your risk of hypertension.
Lastly, analyst firm IDC published its latest wearable report that suggests that smartwatches will remain the most popular wearables into 2022. Ahead of hearables and smart clothing, IDC’s figures estimates that total wearable shipments will hit 189.9 million by 2022, rising from an expected 125.3 million in 2018.
Apple will lead the way according to IDC’s latest forecasts while developments in digital health will be a key factor in smartwatches reigning supreme in the wearable realms.
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