The week in wearable tech

A look back at the top stories of the last seven days
The week in wearable tech

Welcome to another busy week in wearable tech – our round up of the most important stories in the world of smartwatches, fitness trackers, sports technology, virtual reality and augmented reality.

It's been a pretty big week for VR and AR fans, we also got to meet new members of the Amazon Echo clan and a student decides to make software alternative to WatchOS and Android Wear.

Here's our pick of of all the biggest wearables news stories from the past week.

HTC Vive goes on pre-order sale

Arguably the biggest wearable news of the week was the HTC Vive going on pre-order sale. The VR headset, which comes bundled with a pair of controllers and headphones, apparently shifted 15,000 units in under 10 minutes.

With VR grabbing the headlines, we took a closer look at the evidence that suggests Apple is making a VR headset. We also spoke to 3D audio headphone maker Ossic about the importance of audio in VR, and sat down with adult entertainment company Naughty America about what's set to be a big year for VR porn.

HoloLens shipping in March

The Microsoft HoloLens developer edition is now finally up for grabs. Windows Insiders can now apply to grab the holographic headset that costs a cool $3,000.

We also know a bit more about the official specs to expect from the first gen HoloLens. It's powered by Intel 32-bit architecture and promises 2-3 hours of battery life. There's already a whole host of HoloLens apps developers can play around with when it ships on 30 March.

In other AR-related news, the Meta 2 headset was officially unveiled promising a wider field of view than HoloLens, plus we take a closer look at the current state of AR eyewear.

Pebble watches get a big price cut

Pebble has decided to give its entire range of smartwatches a permanent price cut, making it a little more affordable to get one around your wrist.

The pick of the discounts include the Pebble Time, which now costs $149.99 while the Time Round drops down to $199.99. Pebble also announced that its Health platform is getting a lot of love with 90% of Time users taking advantage of the recently introduced fitness tracking features.

If you love all things smartwatches, check out our favourite Google Now voice commands for Android Wear and we square up the Apple Watch against the army of Android Wear watches.

Polar A360 is causing skin irritation issues

Polar sent an email to owners of its A360 fitness tracker to confirm that a small number of users had suffered an allergic skin reaction while wearing the band. Apparently, the non hardened glue on the optical heart rate sensor was the root of the problem and Polar recommends that anyone experiencing issues should stop wearing it.

On the subject of fitness tracker-related issues, we trawled through the terms and conditions for a whole host of wearables to find out what we all sign up for when we click that 'Agree' button. We also found out about a sensor that smartens up all running shorts, plus we clocked up some miles with the Under Armour connected running shoes.

Fitbit has 'no excuse' for lack of GPS

That damning verdict on Fitbit's decision not to include GPS on the Fitbit Alta and Blaze trackers comes courtesy of Brandon Oakes, sales manager at OriginGPS. The Israeli company specialises in building GPS modules.

Speaking exclusively to Wareable this week, Oakes claimed installing one of Origin's tiny GPS modules would come at a cost of "single digit dollars".

Speaking of Fitbit, we finally gave our verdict on the Fitbit Blaze, and if you love fitness, we take a closer look at the companies trying to smarten up the shoe.

Crowdfund this

The Sleep Shepherd Blue is a headband that uses EEG technology to encourage your brainwaves to slow to a sleep-inducing crawl. It'll also deliver tracking and feedback on sleep performance to a companion smartphone app.

It's already surged past its Kickstarter goal with $199 getting you a unit for a $50 discount.

It's not the only sleep tech to get some Wareable love this week. We also spoke to Rhytm, makers of the Dreem headband that promises to hack your brain to help you get a good night's sleep.

What do you think?

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