The week in wearable tech: Microsoft's cheaper headsets are coming

The biggest stories from the last seven days
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Welcome to another Week in Wearable Tech, where we pull together all the biggest and best stories from the last seven days.

There's never a quiet week in the world of wearable and connected tech, but if you've missed out on any of the news then fear not, we've got you covered.

Make sure you also check back tomorrow for And finally, our weekly round-up of the best rumours and smaller stories of the week

Room with a Vue

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We've seen a bit of a resurgence in smartglasses as of late, but Vue might be the first to really hit the target. That's because Vue's glasses take a more passive approach, while also being indistinguishable from a normal pair of specs. In terms of the tech, the glasses pack in haptic notifications, bone conduction audio, built-in activity tracking, and a mic for taking calls.

Unfortunately you won't be able to pick up a pair until July 2017, when they'll ship to Kickstarter backers. Early birds will get them for $159, while the retail price will be $269.

But if you can't wait that long, take a look at our roundup of the best smartglasses.

Microsoft's cheaper headsets are coming

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As neat at Microsoft HoloLens is, the fact develop units cost $3,000 makes us worried for the price of the consumer model; it looks set to be pricey. But this week Microsoft announced it's working on something much more affordable, teaming up with a bunch of other companies - HP, Dell, Acer included - to build mixed reality headsets powered by Windows 10. Details are thin, but any move to lower the barrier to high-end VR is a good one, in our opinion.

For more VR news from the week, check out Field of View, our roundup of all things virtual reality.

Smartwatch sales slump

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There was some bad news for smartwatches this week coming from IDC, which reports that Q3 sales were down significantly. Shipments were down in the third quarter went down 51.6% year-on-year, and even though Apple managed to keep top spot, it still saw a slump of 72%. So is it all reason to panic? Not really - we explain the reasons here.

Wearable Tech Award winners revealed

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You might have heard that it's been a particularly special week for Wareable - we held our very first Wareable Tech Awards. We're pleased to say it all ran without a hitch, and our winners have now been crowned, with Garmin, Fossil, HTC and Bragi among the prestigious lineup. You can see the full list here, while Editor Michael Sawh explains why the biggest award of the night, Wearable of the Year, went to the Apple Watch Series 2.

Analogue smartwatches

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This week we got our hands on the Misfit Phase, the company's first smartwatch, built in partnership with its now-owner company Fossil - and you can tell. The watch eschews all screens and instead uses its hands to deliver notifications; this means it's a little less obvious to glean what it's telling you, but watching the hands move around the face in response to a text or email is quite hypnotic.

It's also got us thinking about the growing stable of smart analogue watches out there, and which ones are getting it more right than others.




Hugh Langley

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Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.


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