So what's happened in the world of wearables this week? Well, there's been plenty of chat about WWDC, that's what. Apple will be talking all things software next week and while we're not going to see an Apple Watch Series 3, we should hear plenty about what's in store for the next instalment of watchOS.
We've had our say on what we want from watchOS 4 and I'm fully expecting the recent acquisition of sleep monitor maker Beddit to feature in the WWDC keynote on Monday 5 June. I'm really intrigued to see how it will fit into the Watch ecosystem. For the first time, it really feels like Apple is building momentum on its decision to build a smartwatch and I'm beginning to see whole lot Apple Watches out in public, which speaks volumes about the improvements it continues to make with the Series 1 and Series 2 watches.
While we might not see a new device, that doesn't mean there won't be any new hardware to get excited about and it seems highly likely that we'll get to see Apple's first Siri-powered smart speaker. So look out Amazon Echo and Google Home, Cooky is coming for you.
Keep those software updates coming
Staying on the topic of software, I want to talk updates. Much like Apple, Samsung has been doing a pretty good job of late in adding more features to its Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatches as well as the Gear Fit2. This week the Fit2 received a pretty beefy update improving areas like heart rate and exercise tracking. It's not just the tech giants that are taking this approach either. Fitbit continues to refine its sleep tracking, while Polar's OTA updates to its M600 Android Wear smartwatch and fitness trackers have made the wearables even more useful for keeping fit.
Now there is the argument that these features probably should have been there in the first place, but I applaud the likes of Samsung and Polar for not leaving its existing devices in the lurch when they are no doubt already busy working on their next generation wearable plans.
The Snap Specs European invasion
Yes, the camera-packing Snap Spectacles have finally made it out of the US with vending bots currently finding homes in London, Berlin, Venice, Barcelona and Paris. It's worth remembering that those bots first turned up in cities across the US in September last year, so it's taken some time for Evan Spiegel and co to take them overseas.
The week's big reads
- Matrix on the quest to build a heat-powered smartwatchWe chat to the makers of the body-heat-powered PowerWatch
- Machina merges smart clothing and VRIt all started with a pirate radio and a MIDI rain coat
- How Intel is bringing cricket into the futureThe ICC Champions Trophy brings VR, drones, bat sensors and more
- Checking up on Apple ResearchKitHow far has ResearchKit come since it hit the scene?
The Specs sales numbers have been pretty decent so far when you consider the amount of time they've been available to pick up online after the initial vending machine stunts. Will there still be the same excitement and buzz around something that actually launched 10 months ago? I'll be intrigued to see if Specs will be out in full force competing with the selfie sticks in key tourist hotspots.
Smart clothing is still trickling out
This week fashion tech startup Wearable X's smart yoga pants that can correct posture and form went from concept to reality. The first time we wrote about the Nadi X was in 2016 so it's taken some time for the connected garment to be ready for the masses. To be honest, we weren't convinced it was ever going to become the real deal. What is becoming very apparent is that it's still really difficult to make smart clothing, despite the hype of the last few years.
It's clearly going to be very expensive to have it in your wardrobe as well. The Nadi X yoga pants cost $299. I'm sure there are people out there that would happily spend that kind of money on a pair of connected yoga pants but I also think there's quite of few more people who still think that's a lot of cash to spend on one piece of clothing. Smart clothing explosion? Yeah, we're definitely not there yet.
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