The week in wearable tech: Oculus Rift is here

The biggest stories in wearable tech and VR this week
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It's tricky to get the measure of new innovations, we can peek at estimates and app downloads, social media mentions and the sales announcements that tech companies choose to make. But then there's the feeling that something is destined to be big.

Take VR. The Oculus Rift finally started shipping this week, making the Facebook owned VR headset the biggest story of the past seven days. We don't know how many people pre-ordered their very own Rift, or its closest rival the HTC Vive. But we do know that even if these iterations aren't bestsellers, the next ones - or Sony's PlayStation VR - will have an impact.

One stat that Fitbit is unsurprisingly keen to share is how many Blaze smartwatches and Alta fitness trackers it has sold already. The popularity of smart jewellery in the near future is less immediately clear but if the category takes off, Ringly is in a damn strong position.

Here's the stories of the week plus our pick for your crowdfunding consideration.

Oculus Rift is here

The week in wearable tech: Oculus Rift is here

Well, it's here if you pre-ordered one as soon as you possibly could. It's been a big week for VR and Palmer Luckey's company as the Rift starts shipping. Check our ultimate Oculus Rift guide, our pick of the Oculus Rift games to play first and look out for our Oculus Rift review coming to the site very soon.

Also worth reading if you've got the VR buzz this week: the origins of virtual reality, our HTC Vive hands on review, round up of the best PlayStation VR games to look forward to and our transatlantic feature on VR roller coasters - we rode Magic Mountain at Six Flags LA and Air (Galactica) at Alton Towers in the UK with Samsung Gear VRs strapped to our faces. You're welcome.

If AR is more your thing, HoloLens is now shipping to devs, we've rounded up 8 awesome AR demos and we've got a Meet The Boss with CastAR too.

Fitbit has sold 1m Blaze watches and 1m Alta trackers

The week in wearable tech: Oculus Rift is here

Sploosh. That is exactly what Fitbit's investors want to hear. The Blaze has been on sale for only a month and has hit 1 million sales whereas the Alta got to its own million in just three weeks - nowhere near iPhone sales, say, but damn impressive for two wearables.

Now, neither are perfect devices as you'll know if you've read both our in-depth Fitbit Blaze review and our Fitbit Alta review. That said, the Fitbit Blaze is currently our Top Pick for fitness trackers and the new fashion friendly look of the Alta is obviously already turning heads, despite the lack of new features.

Also just updated: your GPS running watch explained, top sports watches for endurance training and events and do sleep trackers really work?

Ringly's new ... smart bracelet lands

The week in wearable tech: Oculus Rift is here

Aries is the new smart bracelet collection from Ringly and we caught up with Christina Mercando d'Avignon to talk about the new fitness tracking features and the upcoming NFC payments for future lines.

Elsewhere, we updated our look at the best smart jewellery we've come across so far and discussed how wearable tech has gone past the stage of being called "actually wearable" and the methods Ringly, Fossil and Apple are using to make tech stylish.

Olio is one company going after the luxe fashion fan and we got a hands on with its Model One smartwatch at Baselworld.

Crowdfund this

The week in wearable tech: Oculus Rift is here

We've seen smart rings before but this week's crowdfunding pick is a little different. The mBand is a ring with a Bluetooth connected button that is designed send a panic alert to your smartphone if you're in danger. Your GPS location is then sent to emergency contacts or the police if it's not cancelled within 30 seconds. Clever and available now for $80/$125 depending on the model, over at Kickstarter.

Also on the site this week, don't miss Week 7 of Paul's Smart home diary and Mike's foray into smart pills that can monitor sports performance.

How we test


Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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