The Week in Wearables July 17

Consumer Wearables

Intel has apparently eliminated their wearables division entirely and will now focus on AR. Intel has never really had a clear strategy in wearables and seemed like they were/are chasing what they think is the next growth platform since they missed mobile. Here.

Garmin expanded its wearables reach into senior living facilities through a partnership with K4Connect. Here.

An interesting collection of thoughts on why Jawbone failed. Here.

The data from this report is interesting because of the source. The company will send a selection of wearables to you for a week for around $35. You also have to tell them why you are interested in wearables so they can tailor your selection accordingly, which obviously generates valuable (and likely more accurate) data on purchase decisions. Here.

The price of consumer AR hardware is dropping – you can now pre-order $100 AR headset for delivery later this year. Here.

Revenue at TomTom’s sports business, which is mostly made up of its consumer wearables business, fell 20 percent in the April-June quarter, leading the company to say they are “considering options” for that part of their business. Here.

Good summary of consumer wearable tech making an impact in the construction industry. There’s quite of bit of activity going on behind the scenes with wearables in industrial safety. Here.

Medical Wearables

Google Glass got a lot of attention this week for its “resurgence” in the industrial sector. Kudos to Google for putting the product out there years ago, perhaps before the world was ready for it. Glass has been getting traction for a while in repair, warehouse, and manufacturing uses cases where heads up display can improve efficiency and safety. Here. Medical uses also seeing growth. Here.

Good summary of  the science and possibilities for vocal biomarkers that can detect disease with voice analysis. Expect to see this coming to a wearable or hearable device near you sooner than you might think. Here.

Wearable forehead patch can detect sleep apnea. Here.


How to test biometric wearables. Here.



The Week in Wearables July 10


Consumer Wearables

Some good points here related to focusing on use cases, not proliferation. The end business value lies in very specific use cases, not the all-embracing platforms needed to support them. Here.

Louis Vuitton launched one of the most expensive Android Wear watches to date. The watch stays true to brand, targeting world travelers with flight tracking and city guide features. Here.

On the other end of the spectrum, TicWatch launched one of the least expensive Android Wear watches to date. All the basic, expected smartwatch features appear to be there – how well they work is another question. Here.

What Jawbone’s demise can teach the fitness wearable market – accuracy and user experience matter. It sounds obvious but there’s still much work to be done in wearables on these fronts. Here.

Interesting insights from Fitbit CEO James Park on the company’s next growth areas. Here.

This article on Apple’s testing lab for the Apple Watch provides more detail than I’ve seen publicly on the scale and scope of their efforts. Here.

Good summary of how Firstbeat makes sense of wearable sensor data. Here.

Medical Wearables

Results of a definitive clinical trial show that a new, disposable diagnostic patch effectively detects obstructive sleep apnea across all severity levels. Here.

You may recall Fitbit said recently they’re going after diagnosing and monitoring sleep apnea. Here.

Interesting look at vocal biomarkers in healthcare diagnostics and prevention. Here.

Good summary of uses for VR in therapeutics, including pain management in healthcare facilities. I saw a demo of VR for pain management recently and it has huge potential to make an impact on public health on a broad scale, particularly in light of the opioid crisis. Here.


Rock Health: digital health funding hits $3.5B in first half of 2017. Here.

The Week in Wearables July 3

Relatively slow news this week in the doldrums of summer…

Consumer Wearables

Fitbit’s struggles with a smartwatch reportedly continue. The company refutes the claims, but this will be very difficult to get right, particularly because they are apparently doing their own OS and app store. Here.

Another positive report from Wall Street analysts about Apple Watch and AirPods sales and momentum, saying the AirPods “probably has been the most successful product launch outside of the iPhone lineup in terms of early demand levels and media reviews in many years.” Here.

News finally came that Jawbone is being liquidated. The only surprise is how long they hung on. Here.

Medical Wearables

The Roche acquisition of mySugr was announced last week, but some additional detail emerged this week, including acquisition pricing somewhere between $75-100M. Here.

Stanford researchers have developed an algorithm to diagnose 13 different types of arrhythmia from wearable ECG data. This is similar to work being done by Cardiogram with Apple Watch data. Here.

Wearable telepathy? Former Facebook, Google X, and Intel exec claims in will be possible within 8 years with something that puts the the functionality of an MRI in a ski hat. No working prototype yet, so take it for what it’s worth. Here.


With $6.5B so far, 2017 on track to be biggest digital health funding year yet. Here.

The Week in Wearables June 26

Consumer Wearables

Long-time Apple analyst Gene Munster says AirPods may drive more revenue than Apple Watch, which given the difference in price points means much higher unit volume for AirPods than Watch. My view is the AirPods will need to become much more than “wearable, augmented audio” devices to see this kind of growth. Here.

Speaking of Apple, they acquired eye-tracking company SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) with obvious applications for AR/VR. Here.

Qualcomm announced a new Snapdragon chip that promises for power-efficient connectivity. Still work to do on the network front to make this scale, but this gets us closer to wearables that are not tied to mobile devices for key functionality. Here.

Interesting article on the next phase of growth for wearables, moving beyond the 10,000 step myth. Here.

Good overview of the use of heart rate variability in fitness and health use cases in the Wall Street Journal this week. Here.

It’s rare these days that you see a smartwatch start-up raise significant funding, but Matrix did that this week. Their key differentiator is the device is powered by body heat. It will be interesting to see how well this works and how much power and therefore functionality can be delivered. Here.

Good look at the state of the hearables market in The Guardian. Here.

Medical Wearables

The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI), a public-private partnership of pharma companies, academics, and regulators, including FDA, looking to create a new “gold standard” of clinical trial design using digital technology, released recommendations on the use of “digital endpoints”, including wearables. Shows progress for the relatively slow-moving pharma and clinical trials industry to adopt technologies that can help improve participation and efficacy in clinical trials. Here.

In related news, Sanofi and PAREXEL announced a collaboration to advance the use of wearables in clinical trials. Here.

Roche acquires mySugr diabetes management digital health app. Here.

The use of VR in clinical settings is advancing rapidly. Here are 15 use cases we’re seeing in action today. VR in pain management is particularly compelling given the current opioid crisis. Here.


Samsung reportedly moved into second place in the consumer wearables market, passing Fitbit for the first time, according to Strategy Analytics. Here. This follows IDC’s report last week that Xiaomi and Apple had surpassed Fitbit in 1Q17 wearables sales.