Week in wearable: Oculus Quest unveiled, Wear OS redesign and Apple's ECG issues

Zuckerberg details Oculus' future and Google refreshes its smartwatch platform
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Welcome, one and all, to your latest instalment of Week in Wearable, the place where we review the week gone by.

We're going to get into what happened at a busy Oculus Connect 5, get you updated on Google's fresh Wear OS update and talk a bit more about the health tracking skills of the new Apple Watch.

But let's not forget about the other stories from this week - we've had a TicWatch E2 tease, an Armani Exchange Connected reveal and got our first look at the Samsung Galaxy Watch Golf Edition.

Essential reading: The biggest VR and AR news of the week

If you want to check in on all of the news we covered off this week, head over to our dedicated news section. For the three biggest stories from the week, soldier on.

Oculus embarks on a new quest

Week in wearable: Oculus Quest unveiled, Wear OS redesign and Apple's ECG issues

After teasing Project Santa Cruz for the last two years at Oculus Connect, the Facebook-owned company finally decided to reveal the goods this week.

So, what's it all about? Well, Oculus Quest is a standalone, wireless VR headset, that comes complete with six degrees of freedom tracking, built-in audio, positional tracking and the ability to work with Oculus Touch controllers - as seen above, in the dramatic promos shot.

Essentially, the Quest acts as the midpoint between the ageing Oculus Rift and the entry-level Oculus Go. In fact, it offers the same 1600 x 1440 lenses in each eye as the Go, and is powered by the same Snapdragon 835 processor we've already seen packed inside the Lenovo Mirage Solo. We definitely have some questions that we'll look to answer in our extended review closer to launch (right now, Oculus indicates that will be in spring 2019), but the Oculus Quest was impressive in our initial play with it.

It also wasn't the only thing the company banged on about in San Jose. Head to our full round-up of the week at Oculus Connect 5, where there was new Rift games teased, updates to its two existing headsets detailed and a partnership with VRHealth announced.

Google finally rolls out Wear OS update

Week in wearable: Oculus Quest unveiled, Wear OS redesign and Apple's ECG issues

Earlier this year, we questioned whether the folks over at Google still cared about smartwatches, or its own Wear OS platform. And after a hollow first half of 2018, the company has woken up and responded by revamping Google Fit and, now, giving its operating system a much-needed jolt.

This week, the Mountain View colossus began rolling out a new version of Wear OS that brings a smarter, different kind of Google Assistant to wrists, as well as a touch-ups to areas like notifications and settings.

Our very own Hugh Langley spent some time living with the refreshed Wear OS before the rollout, and it's fair to say he's positively giddy about the changes. But despite it being a step in the right direction, the gap between what Google is offering compared to Apple and Samsung is still significant. Here's hoping the update is the first of many to come to the platform over the next few months, as it looks to close the lead.

Apple ECG clearance may take years

Week in wearable: Oculus Quest unveiled, Wear OS redesign and Apple's ECG issues

In the couple of weeks since Apple unveiled the Watch Series 4, plenty has been made - and rightfully so - about the company's step into the world of ECG heart readings and atrial fibrillation detection. But while the FDA clearance (note: that's not the quite same as approval) gives it license to launch its ECG app in the US, it doesn't grant it the power in other territories to take the same readings and make the same judgements about your heart.

Read more: Atrial fibrillation explained

And according to one report this week, the process of bringing the same smarts to the UK could take a number of years. That's because Apple would need to undergo the same process as it did in the US, meaning it would need sign off from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – the UK equivalent of the FDA.

Now, there's nothing to suggest that process isn't already in its latter stages, and Apple is conducting the same work in other territories, but with reports recently indicating that the company only received FDA clearance mere hours before its event, seeing it work across the globe any time soon doesn't feel likely.

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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