Welcome to our round-up of the most important wearable tech stories of the week.
The TicWatch Pro 5 is one of the worst-kept secrets in smartwatches, and it’s set to launch with a huge secret weapon.
The device has been spotted at the FCC, and some key details about the spec sheet have dropped.
According to the filing, the TicWatch Pro 5 will house a 611mAh battery – one of the biggest we’ve ever seen on a wearable.
That’s significantly bigger than the Apple Watch Ultra (542mAh) and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (590mAh) – both of which offer some of the best longevity for fully-featured smartwatches, with all the bells and whistles of a rich operating system.
However, the TicWatch Pro 5 has another trick up its sleeve.
The device will be the first to run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ platform, which promises huge improvements in battery life, thanks to an improved co-processor.
Purely speculating, it could boast 4-5 days of battery life, running Wear OS 3.0.
Mobvoi has always led the way with its TicWatch brand, pushing the technical possibilities of Qualcomm’s platforms. Its dual-layer screen set new benchmarks for battery life on Snapdragon 4100 and Wear OS 2, but it’s always been held back by Google’s mediocre platform.
Wear OS 3 is improved, if not transformationally, and the promise of true longevity could make this a landmark release.
Mobvoi has also been busy working on its platform, with new health and sleep features.
It feels like this is the time for TicWatch to shine.
Apple gets major health breakthrough…
It’s also been a huge week for the Apple Watch – and crucially – its health credentials.
A report has revealed that Apple has hit a ‘major milestone’ in its quest to track blood glucose non-invasively.
The project has been worked on in secret for nearly a decade and uses a laser to look beneath the skin, using a process known as optical absorption spectroscopy.
According to Bloomberg, it sounds some way off, and the device still needs to be miniaturized.
The company also used Heart Month to reveal three major studies being undertaken with the Apple Watch. The studies look at the effects of children’s cancer treatment, firefighters tackling wildfires, and Afib in older generations.
…but could face US Apple Watch ban
It’s not all good news, however. The Biden administration opted not to overrule court rulings that could mean Apple is stopped from importing the Apple Watch for sale in the US thanks to alleged patent infringements – after a filing by AliveCor.
You can read more about the case here.
Blood glucose is seen as the Holy Grail of wearables – and nearly every wearable tech company is working on it. Why? For diabetics, it would be a life-changing device, but glucose tracking could benefit anyone with an eye on wellness.
But getting the accuracy needed to get past the FDA is a challenge some have described as impossible.
If Apple can achieve this, it would be a huge breakthrough, not just for wearables, but global health.
The rest of the week’s wearable news
Elsewhere this week, an interesting nugget came from Vuzix, which talked up the potential for ChatGPT to transform the way we interact with smartglasses.
An interesting study has also called the safety of bioimpedance wearables into question after they were found to interrupt pacemakers.
Garmin is set to launch AMOLED versions of the Forerunner 965 and Forerunner 245, according to new leaks from a Vietnamese retailer.
And rumors won’t stop around AR glasses at big-name tech companies. Apple is rumored to be working on a cheaper version of its VR headset, while Wareable revealed that Google has been awarded a patent for ensuring the fit and comfort of AR devices.
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