The week in wearable tech

Here's what you need to know about the last seven days of wearables
​The week in wearable tech

Most of the team was locked away in beautiful Barcelona for Mobile World Congress and while there weren't too many new Android Wear appearances, that's OK.

We ended up being pretty impressed with Haier's new offering and learned just how much the HTC Vive will cost (a lot for some). Samsung is also heating up VR by diving in deeper with another accessory to supplement the new S7 handset and Gear VR headset.

Then there's Fitbit who apparently is sitting smug on top of the wearable mountain, waving to the peons below.

Read on for the full rundown of the biggest wearable news stories from the past week.

HTC Vive gets priced

We're mere days away from the HTC Vive's 29 February preorder date and the prices were just announced this week.

The headset will cost a whopping $799 and will ship from early April. That's a good $200 more expensive than an Oculus Rift but does come with two controllers, the Lighthouse base stations, some ear buds plus copies of the games Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives and Fantastic Contraption.

It's still a lot of money and will no doubt mean the HTC Vive is the most expensive choice you can make - Sony's PlayStation VR doesn't have a price yet but we doubt it will cost more than a Rift.

Fitbit wins wearable crown

Apparently Fitbit is the biggest name in wearables. According to analyst report done by IDC, Fitbit is "the undisputed worldwide leader of wearable devices."

The company's Q3 sales went from 22.2% up to 29.5% in Q4 and will likely continue to rise with the introduction of the Fitbit Blaze and Fibit Alta.

In comparison, Apple's shipment volumes for the period "grew only slightly" from the previous quarter. Still, the Apple Watch wins out in the smartwatch category, moving 12 million units in 2015.

Haier Watch doesn't look like a kitchen appliance

The Haier Watch was one of the few smartwatches shown off at MWC. We knew something would be released beforehand but surprisingly, the Haier Watch is much sleeker than expected, with a lovely looking metal body that's reminiscent of the Moto 360.

It'll run on full Android Marshmallow when it launches in April for €200. There's a gorgeous, water resistant stainless steel 42mm casing and a metallic band that has a very Apple Watch Milanese loop look and feel to it.

There was a distinct lack of new Android Wear devices at MWC this year, check out our feature on why the platform needs to diversify to survive.

Samsung debuts 360-camera

There were rumors that Samsung was going to reveal something spectacular for VR. It wasn't mind-blowing, but the Samsung Gear 360 was unveiled alongside the new S7 smartphone duo, and is a bit like LG's new 360 CAM and Rolling Bot combined.

Combining a duo of 180 degree f2.0 fisheye lenses, each with 15 megapixels, the Gear 360 is capable of shooting two super wide videos or images at once, which can be stitched together using the companion app to create 360 degree visuals.

It's clear that tech brands are trying to work out what the next big thing after the smartphone is.

Crowdfund this

Lastly, our Crowdfund pick for this week goes to...babies. More specifically, a "smart babysitter," called Allb.

The gadget is a sensor that clips onto the waistband of a diaper or baby clothes and can keep track of skin temperature, sleep patterns and respiratory rates and raises alarms to a parent's smartphone if necessary.

$89 gets you one device and the company is looking for $15,000. Shipping is estimated for July.


What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.