Tech for your connected self

Week in wearable tech: A smart clothing boom and new Apple Watch cometh

All the juicy gossip from the week that was

Here we are then. Back for another roundup of the biggest stores of the last seven days. A time for reflection. A time to take stock of the world of wearable tech. There may be laughter. There might be tears. There will be intrigue. Guaranteed.

It was the week where Husain spent several days working in VR and trying his best to not get fired. It was a week where Sophie tried out the Kate Spade New York Scallop while myself and Mike argued over whether Apple should make a hybrid smartwatch. We also gave our verdict on the Fitbit Versa (spoiler alert: we like it a lot).

But what else went down? What were the biggest talking points of the week? Let's dive in.

Apple Watch Series 4 redesign coming?

The week in wearable tech: A smart clothing boom and new Apple Watch cometh

We're officially into the Apple Watch rumor cycle, with two major bits of news this week. First, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been up to his old tricks, reporting that the Apple Watch Series 4 will undergo a physical redesign. The new smartwatch will have a display 15% larger than the current Apple Watch and pack in a battery with larger capacity.

Kuo also says that the new Apple Watch will include new health sensors. Could this mean the rumored EKG heart monitor is even more likely to appear? Apple will presumably be seeking FDA approval if that's the case, and if it delivers it could let the Series 4 identify abnormal heart rhythms. Apple needs to give the Series 4 more than a better battery life if it wants to tempt users to upgrade, and deeper health tracking could be the ticket.

In related news, it looks like an official Spotify app could come to the Apple Watch as soon as WWDC this June.

GoPro goes cheap

The week in wearable tech: A smart clothing boom and new Apple Watch cometh

GoPro surprised us this week with a new camera, and even more surprising is the price. At $200 the new GoPro Hero is an entry-level camera - $100 cheaper than the Hero5 and roughly $200 less than the Hero6.

The camera shoots HD video at a maximum of 1440p at 60 fps and 1080p footage at 60 fps, so it can't shoot 4K or slow-motion footage like the Hero6. It also maxes out at 10 megapixel stills, 2MP less than GoPro's more expensive camera. But otherwise, it's a comparable little shooter, design included.

GoPro has been going through a tough time, with another bunch of layoffs earlier this year following the unsuccessful flight of its drone division. GoPro needs to do more to compete with the competition and revive optimism in the company - hopefully a more affordable camera will start to turn its fortunes around.

Smart clothing to lead the way

The week in wearable tech: A smart clothing boom and new Apple Watch cometh

A new study from Juniper Research projects that smart clothing is going to take the lead in wearables. According to the research, the total market for smart wearables will top 350 million devices by 2020 with wrist-based trackers slowing down and smart clothes taking over. Juniper believes smart clothes will boom from 7 million units by 2020 to 30 million by 2022, while fewer fresh features and a software focus will limit the growth of smartwatches and fitness trackers.

Developments in conductive fabric and sportswear from the likes of Under Armour and Sensoria will cause smart clothing to take the lead, says Juniper. This week, Siren announced that its smart socks, which alert diabetics when they might be at risk of foot injury, will be shipping later this year. "We think the future is people wearing their comfy pajamas, their comfy socks, their comfy gloves, and these clothes having super powers," Siren CEO Ran Ma told us. Looks like she's onto something.

TAGGEDWearables

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