News Roundup – November 2015

2016 is almost here! If you are curious about learning which innovative wearables were being created behind the scenes in 2015, then you’ll have to register to attend the WT 10th anniversary at the WT | Wearable Technologies Conference Munich January 26-27 Christian Stammel, CEO of WT | Wearable Technologies, will speak during a Keynote session about the past 10 years in wearables; from smart clothing in 2006 to smart patches in 2016. For more details check out this infographic we created.

Thinking of buying a loved one a Smartwatch this holiday season? We will begin with explaining which one you won’t be buying…The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition. The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition was on sale for merely six days before being pulled off shelves. LG’S smartwatch was said to be different for it contained a component with the potential to reduce image quality on the device. LG said the reason for withdrawing the smartwatch from sale was not because of safety fears, but over the graphics potential to affect the user experience over time. That specific component had not been used in any of LG’s wearables before. Too bad LG will miss the holiday season to wrap up end-of-the-year profits.

Desipte LG – there are many exciting smartwatches that may be the perfect buy. Such as Android’s luxury smartwatch from TAG HEUER as well as the Intel’s Atom Z34XX processor powering the Google and Tag Heuer Conntected smartwatch. The Tag Heuer Connected face is a crystal sapphire, eschewing the toughened glass of their rivals and in favor towards their customers looking for something more luxurious. The screen itself is slightly underwhelming in power. The 360 x 360 LCD boasts a pixel density of 240ppi, which already lags way behind the competition. Don’t go crazy, the price tag for the “Swiss Engineered” smartwatch is € 1,350 which Santa Claus might not be able to afford. If Santa is up for a more economic watch, he might consider another big player within the Swiss watchmakers, Movado. The Movado Bold Motion smartwatch, in partnership with HP, has a stylish analog face. The Bold Motion is a stainless steel, 44mm watch face with LED backlighting in blue or white. Movado designed the LED lights to alert you that you’ve received a notification by displaying a specific pattern alongside haptic feedback vibration. The Bold Motion also includes a step tracker, which displays your daily progress as a ring around the watch face. This collaboration with Movado is the first of what HP is calling its “Engineered by” collaboration program. This program allows HP to participate in the smartwatch industry without having to release HP branded smartwatches. The Movado Bold Motion is available now from Movado for $695. There’s also the Movado Motion, with fitness tracking coming courtesy of Fullpower Tech’s MotionX which is also found on Mondaine, Frederique Constant and Alpina MMT watches.

If Santa is on a low budget but still wants to give a wearable, what should he do? He can always go for Xiaomi. Xiaomi, the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer, has continued its wearable tech launch with the Mi Band 1S – a low cost fitness tracker that boasts optical heart rate monitoring technology. The new 1S device is set to go on sale in its homeland for just 99 Yuan, roughly $16. In terms of design, it’s pretty much the same deal as its predecessor; a module containing the sensors and hardware slips inside a replaceable rubber strap. The Mi Band 1S tracks a user’s steps and provides estimates on calories burned and distances covered. It also monitors sleep and provides incoming call alerts from a paired smartphone. Adding the optical heart rate monitoring technology while keeping the price-tag under $16 is an incredible feat – Xiaomi is firing a competitive warning to the likes of Jawbone and Fitbit.

Beyond smartwatches November brought forward a few interesting acquisitions. Fossil Group, the design, marketing, and distribution company that specializes in consumer lifestyle and fashion accessories acquired Misfit .Together with Fossil Group, Misfit gains access to Fossil Group’s design teams and global expertise in sales, marketing, and distribution. Misfit will continue to develop activity trackers under the Misfit brand, while Fossil Group will scale Misfit technology across Fossil, Skagen and a targeted portion of its portfolio of 16 brands in 2016.

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