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.

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