Tech for your connected self

Week in wearable: Garmin's music-touting Fenix 5 and Bose gets into sleep

What happened this week in the world of wearables

Another week of wearable wonders has passed, and this week we saw some big players trying new things.

The Nadi X smart yoga pants, for instance, come in a new collection for men now. And Snap has finally updated its Spectacles to make it much easier for you to export your videos and photos to social networks that aren't Snapchat.

Elsewhere, a new IDC report says that Apple adding LTE to the Series 3 shone a spotlight onto smartwatches, potentially opening a cellular can of worms in the future. That's not all though, to ensure you're up to date on the latest, we've assembled the three biggest stories of the week for you below.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus series adds music and payments

Week in wearable: Garmin's music-touting Fenix 5 and Bose gets into sleep

Garmin's Fenix 5 series is still the one to beat when it comes to outdoor adventuring. However, they're lacking in the smart features that Apple Watch and the rest excel in.

Garmin has been introducing payments and music into various wearables recently, and now its time for the Fenix series with the Fenix 5 Plus series. The Fenix 5 Plus, 5S Plus and 5X Plus all now have support for Garmin Pay and storage for up to 500 songs. There's also support for Deezer and iHeartRadio streaming.

But that's not all, Garmin is also buffing up the sensors available in the new series. There's now a pulse ox acclimation sensor, which lets you keep track of your blood saturation level at higher altitudes. That's only for the 5X Plus though. Routable maps are also coming to the 5S Plus and 5 Plus, a feature that was previously only available on the 5X.

The other big difference is for the 5S Plus, which now has a 1.2-inch touchscreen, 20% larger than the previous model. The 5 Plus series starts at $699.99 for the regular 5 Plus and goes up to $1,149.99 for the 5X Plus.

Microsoft has no plans for VR on Xbox One

Week in wearable: Garmin's music-touting Fenix 5 and Bose gets into sleep

Microsoft has largely waffled on whether or not virtual reality (or even Windows Mixed Reality) was headed toward the Xbox One or the more powerful Xbox One X.

The company has said it's bullish on VR on consoles in the long term, even going as far as saying the One X was built to handle high-fidelity VR, yet the company wouldn't commit. This year, the company is being a lot more forthcoming.

Mike Nichols, chief marketing officer for Xbox, said in an interview that the company has no plans for VR on the Xbox One. It believes that PC is the best place for VR right now for a multitude of reasons. Most of the software and hardware investment is happening in that space, for instance.


Additionally, Xbox head Phil Spencer has said he doesn't believe family environments like living rooms are good places for VR right now, largely because most VR headsets are wired experiences. Since most game consoles tend to be in living rooms, Microsoft isn't so sure VR is at the place it needs it to be for bring VR to the Xbox.

That doesn't mean Xbox will never get VR, it just means that it's not coming to the Xbox One. Maybe that next-generation Xbox Microsoft teased at this year's E3?

Bose is getting into sleep tech

Week in wearable: Garmin's music-touting Fenix 5 and Bose gets into sleep

Bose might be known for making high-end audio tech, but it's also getting into other areas, including augmented audio and, now, sleep tech. The Sleepbuds are designed to help you get some sleep.

They fit snugly in your ears when you're in bed, but they don't come with Bose's noise-cancelling technology or the ability to stream music or podcasts. Instead, they mask external sounds - like noisy neighbors or traffic or barking dogs - with soothing sounds like nature and ocean waves and the like.

They come with 16 hours of battery life and, in our hands-on with the device at Bose's New York event, we found them to be pretty effective at blocking external sounds. We'll wait until we get our hands on a review pair before making a verdict, but early impressions are good.

This is one of Bose's early efforts at audio technology aimed at wellbeing, and you can expect the company to continue to create hearables that help you stay healthy in the future. The company is hoping that the Sleepbuds get you a better night's sleep, which in turn will make you more active during the day (so perhaps you can buy some health-tracking Bose headsets for when you do workout).

The Sleepbuds are available in the US for $249 now and will be available in the UK in fall 2018 for £229.


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