Best of CES 2019: All the big announcements from the year's biggest show

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Best of CES 2019
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It's the most wonderful time of the year – the technological showcase that is the Consumer Electronics Show is here to get you excited about tech all over again.

For the 2019 instalment of the world's biggest tech expo, foldable phones, car innovations and, probably, a TV with so much resolution it'll make your eyeballs wilt are set to be on show. But who cares about any of that stuff? What you're here for is the real meat – the wearables.

Read this: The best smartwatches to buy

The announcements have all rolled out and we've compiled all the highlights. Here are the big wearable tech stories from CES 2019.

All about the VR and AR? Check out our big round up of all the big VR and AR news from CES 2019.

New smartwatches at CES 2019

Withings brings the ECG

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Withings is back and it's not messing about when it comes to launching new devices. The big news from CES is that it's putting ECG tech into a hybrid smartwatch and its smarter blood pressure arm cuff. The Withings Move ECG hybrid is capable of taking readings that could help detect serious heart conditions such atrial fibrillation. The new BPM Core wearable measures blood pressure, ECG and functions as a digital stethoscope that can provide early detection of valvular heart disease.

Unlike the Apple Watch, the ECG feature on Withings' devices do not have FDA clearance (yet), but they are currently under review to make that happen. Withings also announced the Move, an affordable hybrid that strips away the serious health monitoring features, but still packs in all of the connected tracking fitness skills included in the Move ECG.

Have a read of our Withings Move ECG and Withings Move hands-ons to get our initial thoughts on the two hybrids.

Ticwatch E2 and S2 are fit for the swimming pool

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Mobvoi unveiled follow-ups to its Ticwatch E and S smartwatches that still rock Wear OS and now come with waterproof designs.

There's not a lot to separate the two watches aside from the designs, with both of the sporty Wear watches packing built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor and access to the suite of Ticwatch health and fitness apps. Both run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 2100 chipset as opposed to Qualcomm's new Wear 3100 platform.

There's no details on pricing or release dates, but you can find out if they make a good first impression in our Ticwatch E2 and Ticwatch S2 first looks.

Garmin joins the LTE smartwatch party

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Garmin has announced it's bringing LTE connectivity to its Vivoactive 3 Music smartwatch, but only through Verizon. That means the smartwatch will be able to receive text messages and download music (not stream, it seems) from the likes of Spotify and Deezer without being tethered to your phone.

It's also going to put that extra connectivity to good use and turn your watch into a personal safety device, adding incident and assistance detection features. That means you can raise the alarm if you get lost trekking and send a message to your emergency contacts. The incident detection sounds a lot like Apple's fall detection, too, with the watch able to detect impact (such as a fall) and then send emergency contacts details of your real-time location.

New Kate Spade Wear watch and more from the Fossil Group

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

The Fossil Group had plenty of new smartwatches and hybrids to show off at this year's show, including a new Kate Spade smartwatch that brings the features. The Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2 still looks like a beautiful Wear option for women and now adds fitness-centric features like a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS and a swimproof design. It also adds in NFC to unlock Google Pay letting you make payments from the wrist.

In other Fossil Group news, we got an upgraded Michael Kors Access Sofie that adds in the same heart rate monitor, GPS, waterproofing and Google Pay features packed into the new Kate Spade watch and the rest of the Fossil Group 4th Gen collection. There are also new colour variations of the newer Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch, with the Wear watch set to be available in black, gold, stainless steel/pink, stainless steel/rose gold and stainless steel/gold.

And there's more… The Skagen Falster 2 Wear smartwatch is a getting a glitzy new model and new straps options while new versions of Skagen's Holst hybrid are on the way too. Fossil's got new hybrids as well with the Fossil Carlie and Neutra offering subtle smarts for less than $200.

PowerWatch 2 brings more smarts (and solar power)

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

The main problem with the first PowerWatch was that it simply didn't do a lot of smart things. Creators Matrix have decided to do something about that, while also bringing another self-charging option that means you'll probably never need to plug a charging cable into it. The PowerWatch 2now supports solar power to add to its thermoelectrics skills to keep the smartwatch charged. It's now also getting a colour display, built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor to make the PowerWatch 2 a more attractive proposition.

Apple Watch smart strap that keeps tabs on your hydration

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

It's not a smartwatch, but this add-on band for the Apple Watch could bring some seriously impressive skills to your wristy companion. The Aura smart strap uses bioimpedance tech to track body composition, hydration and can be even used to supplement Apple's own atrial fibrillation detecting features to help evaluate the risk of heart failure. The band is waterproof so you can wear it all the time and has a battery life of up to 9 months. Watch owners can get their hands on one later in 2019 for less than $100.

Coolpad Dyno is a 4G smartwatch for the kids

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Coolpad is a company perhaps best known for its budget smartphones. Now, it's entering the big wide world of wearables with a 4G LTE smartwatch for kids – a device that can also help parents keep an eye on their little ones.

The Coolpad Dyno watch is designed for kids aged 4–9 and offers features like a step counter plus the ability for kids to make two-way calls and send messages to their parents and approved friends. There's an SOS button that calls emergency contacts if activated, and parents can also set designated areas that their kids should stay inside.

It's powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor and packs a 650mAh battery that should serve up two and a half days of use. The Dyno will be available to buy from 28 January for $149 and will start shipping in February.

Best VR and AR tech at CES 2019

HTC Cosmos headset can stand alone and be powered by a PC

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

HTC made two big Vive announcements, as the company looked to improve its developer-friendly Vive Pro and offer a VR headset for everyone. The latter is a new headset that goes by the name Vive Cosmos, and offers inside-out tracking without having to set up sensors around a room. Interestingly, it can be rigged up to a gaming PC and can also be powered by other devices to make it feel more like a standalone headset. It's also going to be the first HTC headset to run Vive Reality System, a brand new user interface.

The other big Vive news was the introduction of Vive Pro Eye, which brings eye tracking to a HTC headset for the first time. The aim to is to improve the image quality of what you're looking at when you're in VR. The new headset also has a slightly tweaked design and will launch later in 2019.

Nreal Light puts mixed reality in sunglasses

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Look out, Magic Leap, one of your former employees has made a pair of smartglasses that deliver mixed reality from what looks like a regular pair of shades. Weighing in at just 85g, the Nreal Light features two cameras can deliver a 1080p resolution display with a 52-degree field of view. It also promises low latency, spatial sound and controllers that offer up to three degrees of freedom to provide that mixed reality experience.

There are interchangeable prescription lenses and the company's external computing pack also supports the ability to plug and play content from most USB-C compatible devices. So, that means you can plug in smartphones and desktop computers. Nreal is hoping to get these mixed reality shades out in the middle of 2019 priced at $1,000.

The rest of the CES 2019 wearable highlights

L'Oréal's new wearable helps recommend better skincare

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

After seeking to protect us in the sun, L'Oréal now wants you take better care of your skin with its My Skin Track pH sensor. The stick-on wearable uses microfluidic technology to measure your skin's pH levels via sweat. It uses that information to help recommend a product that is better attuned to your skin. It's currently in the prototype stage as it continues testing on it before rolling out a consumer version that everyone will be able to use.

Nuheara's new intelligent hearing buds

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Nuheara is one of the key hearable players and it's got a new pair of buds that are all about personalising the sounds you hear in different environments. The IQbuds Max feature the company's EarID tech to enable users to assess their own hearing and calibrate the buds to their own unique hearing profile. The buds also include active noise cancellation to block external noises, smart sensors to enable and disable sound based on when the buds are in your ears and they promise up to 32 hours of battery life from the accompanying charging case.

In other Nuheara news, the company also announced IQStream TV, an adapter for your TV that delivers clear audio to Nuheara's IQbuds Boost and IQbuds Max smart hearing buds.

Willow's next generation smart breast pump is easier to use

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

After launching its first smart breast pump at CES 2017, Willow is back to show off the next-gen model that builds on the original with a bunch of new features.

Willow 2.0 works in similar fashion to the first, fitting inside a woman's bra, but the new pump also offers features like a peek-through window, the ability for women to see milk flow and it's now easier to assemble, so women can get it up and running quicker. There are also changes in the app department where you'll now receive notifications and tips in real-time.

Willow 2.0 is available to pre-order now for $499.99 and will start shipping in February. If you want to save yourself some money, the first Willow pump has now dropped in price to $429.99.

Halo Sport 2 makes it easier to up your athletic performance

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Halo Neuroscience is back with its brain stimulating headphones and this time it's made its innovative device more affordable and easier to use.

The Halo Sport 2 has been redesigned to make it look less like a Beats clone, has a new priming layer that's responsible for the brain zapping and also now has Bluetooth audio support. Most importantly, it costs $399, which is $400 cheaper than the first headphones.

We put on the Halo Sport 2 to see how the second gen cans are shaping up.

Owlet Band lets you hear your baby's heart beat

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Owlet has made its name in the wearable world with its smart baby socks that track heart rate and oxygen levels. Now it's turning its attention to helping mothers-to-be monitor vitals during pregnancy with the Owlet Band. Worn around the abdomen, the Band is able to track the parent's own sleep position, hear the baby's heart rate, automatically count baby kicks and notify them of contractions. Additionally, mothers can save and record audio of their baby's heart rate with all of the data collected pulled together in a wellness report to share with those who want to keep a closer eye on you during your pregnancy.

Motiv Ring is getting some payments love

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Motiv didn't have new hardware to show off but it did reveal it has plans to add big new features to its smart ring. One of those new features is contactless payments via NFC, which is a feature we hoped would turn up on the impressive, award-winning wearable.

In addition to payments, there are also plans to roll out biometric security features that use your heart rate to verify your identity. Both features are set to be launched later in 2019.

Looking into 2020, Motiv claims it wants to put an ECG into its smart ring to follow Apple, Withings and others in giving you the ability to take medical-grade heart rate readings from a sleek wearable device.

Philips wants to stop your snoring

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

After unveiling its SmartSleep headband to improve sleep quality at last year's CES, Philips is expanding its sleep platform with a new sensor that's all about snoring.

The SmartSleep Snoring Relief Band is a sensor that's worn around the chest, tracking sleep and harnessing sensors to establish when the wearer is moving or changing positions. The band vibrates when the user moves to their back, which is the position most likely to cause snoring. The aim is that subtle nudges to move to your front or side change habits and ultimately help curb that snoring.

In addition to the snore-reducing band, Philips also introduced a new SmartSleep Better Sleep Program to help you get to sleep faster and stay asleep. There's now a SmartSleep Analyzer to identify sleep issues and offer useful solutions to dealing with them, too.

The smart diaper that all new parents have been waiting for

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

Most of the baby wearables we've covered in the past have focused on monitoring vitals, but now we've got a device that we're sure parents have been waiting to be invented.

Monit, a startup spin-off from Samsung's C-Lab has created a smart diaper monitor that attaches to the outside of the nappy. It's capable of telling whether they've dropped a one or two or even a mixture of the two. The sensor then sends that information to a smartphone to let you know your cleaning skills are required.

In addition to helping you get to that mess down there sooner, the sensor is also able to monitor humidity and temperature of the baby's surroundings to help prevent diaper-related issues that can arise from environmental conditions.

The smart diaper has already launched in Korea and Japan and is set to come to Huggies diapers in April. There's also a subscription model in the works to offer unlimited diapers with pricing yet to be confirmed.

A smart kettlebell to smarten up your strength workouts

CES 2019: All the announcements from the year's biggest show

It's not a wearable, but JaxJox's smart kettlebell is very much in the realms of connected fitness. The $329 piece of home gym equipment is capable of tracking your reps, sets and workout duration. You can even change the weight of the kettlebell when you think you're ready to lift a little more. There's also an optional subscription service that brings fitness classes, with 40 classes set to be available at launch.


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  • Gadgety·

    "But who cares about any of that stuff? What you're here for is the real meat - the wearables." Except that wearables at 2019 CES seems to be rather scrawny. Where's the meat?