TRUSTED REVIEWS - Apr 28 - Acer will launch a fitness tracker rather than a smartwatch as its first wearable device. Acer might be looking to partner with hospitals and/or health centres to build an ecosystem for its wearable devices rather than launch it is a standalone product.
CIO.COM - Apr 28 - Google is sending new Glass devices to users who experienced problems with a recent software update. Google stopped rolling out its latest Glass software update, called XE16, after the download accidentally "bricked" some Glass "Explorers'" device, sending the wearables into a never-ending reboot cycle.
MASHABLE - Apr 28 - Nike President and CEO Mark Parker has added fuel to rumors that the company's Fuelband software could end up in the Apple iWatch. Fuelband software (called NikeFuel) would get a huge boost from Apple customers with sights set on the iWatch. "Today, we have ~30M Fuelband users and we're hoping to push that over 100M," said Mr. Parker.
PC WORLD - Apr 27 - Researchers have designed a battery that could keep wearables running for 10 years without a recharge. The new design, based on the lithium carbon fluoride (CFx) chemical formula, could also lead to batteries that are safer than current ones. A prototype battery based on the formula was tested by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
FORBES - Apr 27 - Many health & fitness wearables have emerged and generated great buzz. But, Nike just announced lay-offs in its Fuel Band business, and some prominent investors are holding back. Only ~10% of users get motivated by the data spontaneously. ~60% stop using their device after 6-12 months. It is hard to imagine that doctors will be able to accept responsibility for monitoring real-time health information from devices worn by 10% of their patients. They are not equipped to handle the data. First we need to solve the doctor’s problem of monitoring information, invent a wearable device with a medically-important biosensor (blood glucose is clear example), solve the manual calorie count input.
FUTURE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE - Apr 25 - Spanish carrier Iberia has teamed up with Samsung to offer the mobile version of its site, including boarding passes, on the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, while users of Airberlin’s iPhone app can send their boarding pass to Pebble smartwatch. Virgin Atlantic this year became the first airline to trial Google Glass and Sony Smartwatches.
BGR.COM - Apr 24 - Samsung is now trying to lure developers by offering $1.25M as part of a big app contest. Complete details are not yet available, but the contest will aim to encourage developers to make apps for Samsung’s Gear smartwatches. Samsung will be looking for Tizen apps compatible with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. The contest will begin on May 8th.
QZ.COM - Apr 23 - Ynvisible is offering Printoo, which is a bunch of paper-thin circuit boards. The Printoo modules are flexible, meaning they can be bent, folded and attached to any object - cans, clothes, toys - and come with both LEDs as well as flat, flexible “electrochromatic” displays for output. The Printoo Kickstarter achieved its goal of $20K within 4 days.
TECH CRUNCH - Apr 23 - WiThings' activity tracker Pulse, which features a built-in heart rate sensor that uses pulse oximetry, has been updated with new sensor capabilities with the Pulse O2. The O2 can measure blood oxygen level. The original Pulse gains the O2 via a free firmware update. The Pulse O2 is $119.95, and is on sale now at Withings.com.
DIGITALSPY - Apr 23 - Samsung's Gear Fit health accessory has reportedly moved all of its initial stock within ten days. It has sold 200K and 250K units of the fitness band since its launch this month. The Gear Fit debuted alongside two new models of the smartwatch - the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo.
TECHNORATI - Apr 22 - In 2013, the health IT sector raised $2.2B, up 40% from 2012. And last year GE Healthcare announced it’s own $2B commitment to IT investment as well. John Dineen, President & CEO of GE Healthcare, said, “Healthcare has always relied on ’big data,’ and the need to understand data is even greater now.” Fitness wearables are playing a critical role in pushing digital health into the mainstream.
TECH CRUNCH - Apr 23 - Bringing optical wearables from military applications into the enterprise market, APX Labs has raised $10M from NEA. APX Labs already sells optical wearable technologies to the military for applications ranging from connecting soldiers to unmanned arial vehicles to tele-medical applications for medics in the field. The focus at APX Labs is on bringing these technologies to fields like logistics, healthcare, energy and manufacturing.
MASHABLE - Apr 23 - LG has launched a microsite for its upcoming Android Wear-based smartwatch, the LG G Watch, showing off some of the device's main features. The smartwatch will be water and dust resistant. The device could become available in Q2 of 2014.
YAHOO FINANCE - Apr 21 - Nike announced heavy layoffs in its hardware group, though it is denying the news that it was shutting down FuelBand. The company stated "The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business. We will continue to improve the Nike+ FuelBand App, launch new METALUXE colors, and we will sell and support the Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future." However a source with knowledge of the situation said that it could be that Nike wants to be able to run down its inventory of devices.
FORBES - Apr 20 - Pebble smartwatch, which sold 400K units in 2013, has the most staying power. A set of polls from Polar find that while only 26% of respondents are still using their Nike Fuelbands and 36% are still using their Jawbone Ups, while 75% are still using their Pebble. Battery life is clearly a very critical issue and Pebble is just on the right side of what is acceptable. Samsung Gear has so far been clearly on the wrong side of that lines.
PR NEWSWIRE - Apr 19 - Healbe Corporation has raised $1,084,944 in support of GoBe, the wearable body manager that measures calorie intake. It made GoBe one of the top 10 most funded projects in Indiegogo history. GoBe uses Healbe FLOW™ Technology to calculate calorie intake through your skin. It automatically measures calories consumed and burned, along with hydration, sleep and stress with no logging.