The week in wearable tech: Fitbit Alta arrives unexpectedly

The top headlines in what's been a busy week for wearable tech
The week in wearable tech
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After the big Fitbit Blaze announcement at CES back in January, we didn't expect a new tracker from the company so soon.

But it happened. A real bolt from the blue. Read on for all the lowdown on the Alta announcement, as well as the other big wearable tech headlines for the last seven days...

Fitbit Alta arrives unexpectedly

Fitbit took the covers off of its new tracker this week - the Fitbit Alta is a Misfit Ray rival, which has custom wristband accessories and even satin and silver finish bangles. It's all very fashion conscious.

There's no GPS or an optical heart rate monitor, so it looks like Fitbit is very much looking to focus on the casual lifestyle tracking market it already seems to have cornered.

Read our Fitbit Alta guide to find out more.

Also, take a look at this meaty showdown... Fitbit Blaze vs Apple Watch - the battle of the stylish smartwatches.

Android Wear update goes hands free

It's less swiping, more talking and wrist-shaking with the latest Android Wear update. Users will be able to send messages via voice with WhatsApp and make calls with some devices.

A new gesture set lets you expand a card, bring up apps, or return home with a push, lift or shake of your arm.

Take a look at our pick of the best Android Wear smartwatches.

Pebble Time gets Health watch faces

Another update, this time for Pebble Time users who can now download watch faces to display their Health data, as well as chat features and a new low power mode.

There's also a few message improvements too. iPhone users can now send preset replies to text messages and Android users can now send a voice reply, emoji or preset message when they can't pick up a call. MMS messages on all Pebble Time watches now include the text too.

It's almost a year since Pebble announced its bold decision to open up the hardware of its smartwatches with its new Smartstraps platform. Check out our feature on the Pebble Smartstraps you can expect to see landing this year.

Make VR while you're in VR

Damn, this is meta. Epic Games' new Unreal Editor program lets devs create games inside virtual reality. We're waiting for the gamified version for non-devs.

Still unsure about VR? Take a look at our comprehensive guide on virtual reality and get up to speed.

HoloLens Superbowl

From VR to AR and, with Superbowl 50 just a day away, Microsoft has given us a glimpse of what it could be like to watch the fight for the Vince Lombardi trophy using HoloLens.

The ambitious holographic, mixed reality headset feels like it's still some way from entering our homes, but the Redmond company continues to tease us with ways we might one day use it.

Make sure you read our picks of the best VR and AR headsets.

Crowdfund this

If you're looking for for the most interesting wearable projects looking for funding on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, check out our weekly feature Crowdfund this.

This week's pick is pet focused. Chord is a smart collar that guides your pet through reward based training using GPS, biometric vibrations and personalised sounds.


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