Week in wearable: A non-invasive glucose smartwatch and Google's AR headset

Here's what went down this week
The week in wearable tech
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This week was all about new things, whether that be smartwatch announcements, platform announcements or just some fancy new features to give that smart jacket some extra use.


Well alright, maybe not so new if you're Huawei, as the Huawei Watch 2 2018 leaked out this week. And, well, there isn't anything actually new here. As Conor argues in this week's Charged Up, Huawei doesn't seem to get smartwatches.

Essential reading: A look back at the week in AR & VR

We've picked out some of the bigger headlines of the week that you might have missed, and we've even put together a list of some of the best reads on the site over the past week. Let's go.

LifePlus' non-invasive glucose monitoring smartwatch

Week in wearable: A non-invasive glucose monitor and Google's standalone AR headset

Non-invasive continuous glucose monitoring is still the holy grail of wearable tech, one that major companies interested in health are working on in secret R&D labs. Yet LifePlus, a small company just emerging from stealth, claims to be the one that's cracked the code.

The way it works is this: The company tells us that it better understands how to use the light from sensors to isolate glucose in your blood. Our question is whether this will be accurate enough to advise on insulin dosage - that's the key here. We've seen needle-free blood glucose options before, but none of them have been accurate enough to actually sell.


LifePlus is currently going through five clinical trials all over the world, in an effort to prove it can do what it says and submit to the FDA and other regulatory bodies. Until then, we'll just have to wait and see.

Google is working on a standalone AR headset

Week in wearable: A non-invasive glucose monitor and Google's standalone AR headset

Google Glass enjoyed a small revival last year with the launch of Google Glass Enterprise Edition, which was aimed directly at, well, businesses. In the meantime, it's been working on consumer AR with ARCore.

But now it's turning its attention back to AR hardware, according to according to WinFuture. The site says its obtained documents that point to a standalone AR headset in the works from Google called A65. The headset would run on Qualcomm's new AR chipset and, of course, wouldn't need to connect to a PC or phone or anything like that.

Before you get too excited, this headset is still in the prototyping phase; Google only chose a processor earlier this year. It's still got several hardware development phases to go through before everything is finalized, and only then will Google start selling them.


What isn't clear is what the purpose of this standalone headset is. Could it also be aimed at enterprise, like Glass, or is it the first step toward something like true AR smartglasses for the mass market? We're betting on the former, largely because of the comparisons to Microsoft HoloLens, and because businesses have made the most use of AR thus far.

Whoop turns into a subscription service

Week in wearable: A non-invasive glucose monitor and Google's standalone AR headset

A lot of wearable companies have started investing heavily into deeper health software and services. Fitbit is a great example of this, debuting women's health tracking in its app and working on pushing its Fitbit Coach service. These companies want to be health companies, not just hardware companies.

Whoop is taking all of this to the next level by switching over its business model. Rather than sell hardware and free software services, it's selling both things together for a monthly fee of $30. You do have to commit to six months upfront, but that's still cheaper than outright buying a Whoop Strap 2.0.

Plus, you get access to all the deeper health features Whoop offers, which are largely trained to athletes and give them metrics that help them know the best way to recover.

As we see more companies turn to deeper health in the wearable space, we may see more of them follow Whoop's lead and stop selling hardware and start selling services.


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