Week in wearable: Apple's microLED plans, Mi Band 3 and mind reading

Here's what went down this week
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Apple, Samsung, HTC and Xiaomi all made the headlines this week all for very different reasons. There were welcome software updates, more teasing of wearables to come and we even had smartwatches providing police with crucial evidence in a murder trial. Serious stuff.

We've pulled together the big wearable tech stories from the past week, plus our pick of the best reads on the site to go check out after. Enjoy.

Apple 's microLED-packing AR wearable

Week in wearable: Apple's microLED plans, Mi Band 3 and mind reading

We've been hearing a lot about Apple and microLED displays in recent weeks, mainly talk about how it's expected to feature on the next Apple Watch. But it seems the folk at Cupertino could have plans for the more energy-efficient technology beyond its smartwatches.

Digitimes claims the tech is also being primed for Apple's AR headset which is likely to be in the early stages of development at Apple's own "secret" microLED facility in California.

Does that mean Apple's first AR wearable is closer to launch than the 2020 release date we keep on hearing about? We think it's more likely we'll see a microLED-packing Apple Watch before it's housed inside of an AR wearable. But hey, Apple is always full of surprises.

More Xiaomi Mi Band 3 leaks

Week in wearable: Apple's microLED plans, Mi Band 3 and mind reading

Come on Xiaomi, launch it already will you? Fitness trackers might be on the wane as smartwatches step up, but there's still a lot of love for the budget-tastic Mi Band. We know the Mi Band 3 is coming and more details of what we can expect from the third-generation tracker appear to have been revealed, pointing to a pretty notable design change.

An image said to be of the initial setup process of the Mi Band 3 suggests that the wearable will still include a capacitive button like the Mi Band 2 but will additionally bring a touchscreen display to help navigate.

A higher resolution display is also being tipped although there's no real evidence to back this up. So it looks like we can expect some new features, but we just hope those new features don't bump up the price.

Talking to computers with your mind

Week in wearable: Apple's microLED plans, Mi Band 3 and mind reading

We are going to finish things off by heading to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), or what we at Wareable like to call the centre of the wearable tech universe. This is the place responsible for delivering the projects and prototypes we will be wearing and using way into the future.

The latest wearable off the wacky and wonderful conveyor belt is a system called AlterEgo, which uses a bizarre-looking headset that allows users to communicate with computers by reading your mind.

The headset detects neuromuscular signals associated with verbalizing from the jaw and face using a series of electrodes. The response to the interaction is sent directly to the inner ear via bone conduction headphones.

The research team behind AlterEgo has already carried out tests that showed a 92% accuracy as it continues to develop what it refers to as an intelligent augmentation device. A device that aims to bring humans and computers closer together, because that's what we all want right?

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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