Welcome to And Finally, our round up of the week’s smaller tidbits of news. While the headlines this week were dominated by Microsoft planning Surface Bud hearables and the Amazfit Verge getting Alexa support, there were also plenty of smaller stories bending and shaping the wearable industry.
So without further ado, let’s find out what else happened in the world of wearables.
Smartwatches hotbed of fake Amazon reviews
If you’re searching for bargain fitness trackers or smartwatches on Amazon then beware. A new study from consumer rights experts Which? has found that these wearable tech categories are rife with fake reviews.
Which? found that smartwatches in particular suffer from fake or unverified reviews, which made up 99% of reviews for the top four products.
“Our research suggests that Amazon is losing the battle against fake reviews, with shoppers bombarded by comments aimed at artificially boosting products from unknown brands,” said Natalie Hitchins, the head of home products at Which?
So what can you do? Well, this is why Wareable exists, to test and verify the quality of wearable devices independently – so check out our guide to the best smartwatches.
Rangers pioneer AI glasses
Rangers football club has invested in a pair of AI smart specs to help visually impaired fans enjoy the match day experience, reports Compelo. The Glaswegian club is using OrCam MyEye 2 smartglasses, which are capable of turning visual elements into audio feedback.
The device can attach to any existing pair of glasses and uses the built-in camera to make sense of what it’s looking at. It’s not about what’s going on in the game – there’s commentary for that – but helping visually impaired fans read the programme and take in surroundings as they walk around the Ibrox stadium.
Check out our guide to the best smartglasses, and industries where augmented reality technology is making a huge difference.
Garmin Connect IQ awards winners
Garmin has unveiled the winners of its Connect IQ Developer Awards, and highlighted the best watch faces, apps and developers on its app store. For those who aren’t in the Garmin world, Connect IQ is the company’s app store where users of more advanced devices (sports watches and Edge cycling computers) can download content.
The best watch face was Crystal, created by Vince Wong, which adds tonnes of biometric data in a stylish and easy-to-read layout. Best app was a QR code reader (go figure) although Final Surge – a workout builder – got the nod for best training app.
Project Jacquard lives on
Remember Project Jacquard, the Google-developed smart commuter jacket made in conjunction with Levi's? Well, it’s not been consigned to the history of wearable tech quite yet, as it was worn on stage to control a TED Talk, by swiping on the sleeve to control slides.
Temper your excitement slightly – it was Ivan Poupyrev doing the talking, the creator of Jacquard. But there’s some snippets of news: TechCrunch reports that Poupyrev revealed that Jacquard can adapt to the input it's being used for to offer up the best control inputs. This is an interesting addition for wearable controls, being able to adapt to different situations, whether on your bicycle (as Jacquard was promoting), in your car, or on stage giving a TED Talk.
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