Welcome to your weekly instalment of And finally - a one-stop shop for quickly catching up on all the wearable tech news from the past seven days.
Let's get straight to it, shall we...
Apple's sporty new Watch Straps
Apple has added three additional colors of Sport Bands to the mix in yellow, green and pink. On top of these new sporty Apple Watch options the teal, olive and mauve straps - previously only available through Nike’s iPhone app - can now be picked up directly through Apple.
The new Apple Watch straps cost and are available for both 42 and 44mm models.
Casio WSD-F30 PRO Trek priced and dated
Casio's new Wear OS-powered smartwatch, first revealed in August, will be available to buy in January, the company has announced. The Pro Trek WSD-F30 is still tough as nails, but comes with a slimmer body and longer battery life than the last two iterations, which failed to impress us.
The new watch looks promising, especially as you'll be able to stretch the battery for up to three days using the new Extend mode, without compromising the experience too much. If you cut it down to Multi-timepiece mode you can extend it to a month with just the monochrome display and some sensor data. The watch will be available from 18 January for $550
Apple Watch refund period extended for ECG feature
Apple will extend the refund period for the Apple Watch from 14 days to 45 days, according to internal documents obtained by MacRumors. However, the extended period only applies in cases related to upcoming heart health features, for which you'll need to go through Apple Support (you won't be able to return it to an Apple Store).
Apple is soon to roll out its ECG feature in the US, which will be able to detect irregular heart rhythms. It's expected to land in the upcoming watchOS 5.1.2 update.
In case you missed it
It's been VR for Good Week here on Wareable and we've explored how VR is helping people complete their bucket lists, offering an alternative form of pain management, and changing the future of health safety. We also took a look at the VR documentaries making an impact in 2018.
In other news, it's good news for smartwatches. Wearable tech is set to grow 26% next year compared to 2018, according to new Gartner research - and smartwatches are doing the heavy lifting. Speaking of which, the UK Health Minister this week called for the country's NHS to prepare for the incoming health revolution, saying that smartwatches will provide a unique way to spot early signs of diseases.
In the VR and AR realms, HTC has trademarked a new headset called the 'Vive Focus'. This one's anyone's guess, but a consumer-ready Vive Focus would be our bet. Remember that HTC launched the Vive Focus in the US as an enterprise system, so we're still waiting on a standalone system to rival the Oculus Go and Oculus Quest.
Finally, it was a big week for HoloLens, which will be used in live combat missions and training by the US Army. Interestingly, the US government wanted a headset that could allow for night vision, the ability to measure vital signs, bring hearing protection and monitor for signs of concussion - features you won't find in the current HoloLens. So we expect it will be a bespoke version of the headset, possibly the next iteration, which is expected to arrive in 2019.
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