Welcome to another fine edition of And finally, the place to catch up on all of the wearable tech news from the week.
We've saved up three more stories to tuck into, plus give you a quick recap of all the biggest stories from the week. Enjoy.
Microsoft patent suggests it's not over wearables just yet
It's been a few years since Microsoft killed off its Band wearable, but since then there's been patents aplenty hinting that it's not done with health and fitness tracking wearables just yet.
The latest revealing patent to emerge was filed in July 2017 and published on 13 December 2018. The patent titled, “WEARABLE DEVICE” describes a device that features actuators that adjust based on where they are positioned on the body. The patent talks of a wearable device used for therapeutic stimulation and being used to reduce symptoms of a condition, which affects motion or control of the limbs. An example given for a condition is Parkinson's disease.
We've already heard about health-centric patents Microsoft has filed since the Band was canned, which could indicate that it sees potential for creating a wearable for serious health monitoring. With Apple, Samsung and Garmin now playing in this space, it wouldn't be all that surprising if the Redmond company also wanted a piece of the action.
Google's Jacquard jacket will reunite you with your phone
Google and Levi's smart denim jacket designed for urban cyclists launched a year ago, and it's still getting new features.
The Commuter Trucker Jacket now has an Always Together mode that's designed to make sure you don't leave your phone (or jacket) behind. You can now set up an automatic alert that triggers when there's a big distance between your phone and jacket. It can also work the other way, sending a vibrating buzz to the jacket and illuminating the tag that provides the smart controls.
If you still have one of these knocking about in your wardrobe, you'll need to update the Jacquard companion app to start putting that feature to use.
IMAX is killing off its VR arcades
VR arcades sounded like the perfect way to get people to experience virtual reality and those times that we got to experience it, we loved it. IMAX though has decided shut down its VR arcade business, which can't be good news for VR on the whole.
The cinema company announced it's closing down its last three locations in Los Angeles, Bangkok and Toronto in early 2019. The move to shutter its VR arcade business was spotted by Variety who received the following statement:
“With the launch of the IMAX VR centre pilot program our intention was to test a variety of different concepts and locations to determine which approaches work well. After a trial period with VR centres in multiplexes, we have decided to conclude the IMAX VR centre pilot program and close the remaining three locations in Q1 2019.”
While it seems that sales of VR headsets are on the up, it's clear that getting people to spend more time (and money) on VR is proving tough. With IMAX making moves to back away from big scale VR projects, it'll be interesting to see if others follow suit.
In case you missed it
We get it, you're a busy person. And while you'd love to keep up with all the latest happenings in the world of wearables, sometimes it's just not possible.
So here's what you missed. A big Google Fit update added a home screen widget to let you keep better track of your health and fitness data from your phone. Wear OS watch owners also got a new guided breathing app joining the likes of Apple, Samsung and Garmin in the quest to help you de-stress during the day.
Garmin is diving deeper into serious health tracking thanks to a partnership with health platform Actigraph. Garmin is essentially getting a look-in into Actigraph's technology for its own consumer devices to make them better suited for tracking more than just your steps and runs.
If you're on the hunt for a cheap wearable this Christmas, Amazon's big Fitbit sale is now live offering deals on the Versa (down to $149), the Charge 3 (down to $128.96) and other devices. Garmin is getting in on the deals action too and there's a pretty sweet offer on the Forerunner 35 right now.
We're going to round things off with some retro wearable love in the shape of Puma's RS-Computer Shoe 2018 reissue. The kicks that first launched in 1986 were equipped with tech to track running are back. This time though, the shoes are going to offer the kind of fitness tracking skills you get from a Fitbit. Get them on your Christmas wish list pronto.
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