Welcome back to the Week in Wearable Tech – where we look at the last seven days to offer a digest of the hot topics in fitness trackers, smartwatches and anything you can stick on your body (within reason).
This week is a smartwatch bonanza as the wearable industry kicks into serious overdrive ahead of a packed holiday season. Are you ready? You better be.
Huawei super-charged watch inbound
The new Huawei watch will follow on from the Huawei Watch 2 (above)
A pair of leaks this week from within Huawei show that the Chinese company could be about to storm the smartwatch space. The Huawei Watch GT has broken cover, and the spec sheet looks fairly spectacular. Wear OS, GPS, waterproofing, advanced fitness tracking, a boss AMOLED screen and 14 days of battery life are the headlines – and it could be with us by the end of the month.
And it seems the company is also set to announce the Huawei Terra fitness tracker – again with waterproofing and a big AMOLED display, which doesn’t scrimp on specs or battery life either. If these rumours come true, this will shake things up massively.
New LG Watch W7 is a bit bonkers
LG is back in the smartwatch game with a slightly bonkers new device – the LG Watch W7. A stripped back Wear OS smartwatch, the LG Watch W7 puts physical hands on top of the screen – for a hybrid approach.
Those hands sit in front of a 1.2-inch, 360 x 360 resolution, LCD display. Of course, that causes some visibility issues, so when you press the crown on the side, the hands move out of the way.
The year 1990’s saw huge developments in the virtual reality technology with the rise of arcade games. The Virtuality Group was the cutting edge of virtual reality, and launched a wide variety of arcade games and machines that let the players immerse themselves into amazing 3D visual experiences.
But it’s a pretty barebones experience: stuff like NFC for Google Pay, heart rate and GPS are all M.I.A – and it’s retailing for a fairly mega $450. Sure, it’s making a play for that dress watch aesthetic – but the offering does feel slightly dated, and we’ll need some review time to work out whether the moveable hands avoid being as awkward as they look.
Check out our guides to the best smartwatches and the best hybrid watches money can buy.
Citizen gets into hybrids
After seeing the success of Fossil’s hybrid smartwatch play, it seems Citizen wants a piece of the action – and it’s enlisted the help of the Texan fashion company. Yes, Fossil and Citizen are set to team up courtesy of a two-year licensing deal that will put Fossil’s technology (from the Misfit buyout) in Citizen cases.
There’s no news on availability or features – but let’s hope these start landing in 2019, when we’re expecting the first fruit from similar licensing deals Fossil has signed with both Puma and BMW.
Spotify lands on Garmin watches
Garmin gave us a shock this week when it announced the availability of a Spotify app for its sports watches – and about time, too. The Fenix 5 Plus is the only one set to benefit right now, but the Forerunner 645 Music will doubtlessly be close behind.
The First Computer Virtual and Augmented Reality Headset – The ‘Ultimate Display’ Concept and the Sword of Damocles. If we could name one person as the father of Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets as we know them today, it would without a doubt be Ivan Sutherland. In the 1960s, he described the concept of the ‘Ultimate Display’ that would be able to stimulate reality to a point that the viewer would not be able to tell the difference between the virtual and the real world. His concept included a head-mounted display with 3D sound and tactile feedback, a computer that would create and maintain the virtual world through this device and the ability of a user to interact with objects from the virtual world in a realistic manner. Sutherland later created the first VR/AR head-mounted display, which was connected to a computer and not a camera, known as the Sword of Damocles. However, the contraption he made was too heavy for a person to wear comfortably on their head, so the device had to be suspended from the ceiling. Furthermore, the computer generated graphics were too primitive with wireframe rooms and objects.
It ends the Spotify hegemony of Samsung's wearables – and marks something of a watershed moment for those who like to work out with music. Both Garmin and Spotify are runaway leaders in their respective disciplines, so this should benefit millions of users. What’s more, it will put pressure back onto Apple – who has had seamless music/workouts sewn up with Apple Music and the Apple Watch.
Check out our guide on how to use Spotify with your Garmin watch.
Louis Vuitton smartwatch hits FCC
A new Louis Vuitton Wear OS smartwatch seems to have been uncovered this week – which could see an update to Wareable favourite the Tambour Horizon.
Apparently the watch will measure 52.35mm x 47.49m including lugs and crown – in a 42mm case size. And we’re expecting them to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 3100 chip inside, given that LV was one of the manufacturers alongside Fossil to announce support for the new chipset.