Week in wearable: Apple's AR plans and breathing new life into old wearables

What went down over the last seven days
The week in wearable tech

Recovered from your BF deal buying? Good. Still going? Well, maybe take a break from trawling the web for bargains and catch up on what else has been happening in the world of wearables.

Away from the news, we've been giving a lot of love to VR this week. Sophie checked out the Tate Modern's big Modigliani exhibition, which is part of the new Vive Arts program, while we also got the lowdown on Europe's first IMAX VR Experience Center. Outside of the VR realms our US reporter Husain spent some time living with the smartwatch that never runs out while we also spoke to Snapchat users to find out why Spectacles flopped.

So what else went down this week? Read on to find out.

Apple's AR acquisition

Week in wearable: Apple's AR plans and breathing new life into old wearables

For Apple, 2017 will be remembered as the year that it launched a smartphone with a notch and it also made its first big push into AR. There's also been ongoing speculation that next on the hit list is building a piece of hardware that harnesses its ARKit software. Those rumours intensified this week when Apple was reported to have purchased Vrvana an augmented reality headset startup.

Vrvana ran a campaign for its Totem mixed reality headset that actually ended up being more augmented reality than mixed reality. While the campaign was successful, it never shipped and it looks like the team behind it will now be put to work on Apple's own AR projects. Will that be smartglasses or will it be a headset? Well, we could be playing that particular guessing game all the way until 2020 when the Cupertino company is rumoured to be priming the launch of its first AR wearable. Stick with us.

Polar V800 gets new features

Week in wearable: Apple's AR plans and breathing new life into old wearables

The Polar V800 might be a bit of an oldie, but it's still a firm favourite with hardcore runners, cyclists and endurance sports lovers. While Polar has resisted overhauling the hardware it has somehow still managed to keep things fresh on the software front.

This time it's bringing something for the Strava fans with Live Segment support along with improved heart rate monitor support so you can use Polar's OH1 heart rate monitoring armband for its Fitness Test assessments. It's testament that even now four years later, Polar has been able to breathe new life into its iconic sports watch.

Samsung gives Gear S3 some update love

Week in wearable: Apple's AR plans and breathing new life into old wearables

The Gear S3 might not be as old as the V800 but Samsung's flagship smartwatch, which launched last year was given a bit of software boost this week. The most notable upgrades arrive in the battery department where the new Watch Mode will give you an impressive 40 days of battery life. As you might have expected, there is a catch Watch mode means watch mode. You won't be able to do anything apart from view the time.

Elsewhere improvements were made on the health and fitness front adding continuous heart rate monitoring and better nutritional management. That rotating bezel even got some love as well. Google also announced a pretty major Android Wear update this week as well that focused on refining core smartwatch features like notifications. While we've argued in the past that we'd like to see these kind of additions from the start, it's nice to see Samsung and Google rolling out these updates out on a regular basis.



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