The Week in Wearables May 8

Consumer Wearables

Apple acquires sleep tracking vendor Beddit. Aside from the obvious interest in sleep tracking (which is widespread at this point), this could mean they are not making meaningful progress on Apple Watch battery life, because the Watch can track almost all of what Beddit tracks (except room temp and humidity). With that said, Beddit uses ballistocardiography (BCG) to track biometric signals, which has been of interest to Apple in the past. Here.

VR heading into trough of disillusionment? IHS Markit analysts claim Samsung VR’s sales decline YOY. Here.

Fossil’s stock got crushed this week after lackluster earnings, but they claimed over $40M in wearables revenue. If their wearable ASP is $150 across all their brands, that’s over 270K unit sales, which puts them on an annual run rate near the top 5 in IDC market tracker. Here.

Microsoft announced a move into enterprise/industrial wearables, showing off a smartwatch made by TrekStor powered by Windows 10 IoT Core. Demo video Here.

Medical Wearables

Startup Cardiogram released results from a small clinical study that found that the Apple Watch combined with their algorithms detected atrial fibrillation with 97 percent accuracy, 98 percent sensitivity, and 90.2 percent specificity. Only 51 patients tested, so much more research to be done but interesting findings nonetheless. Here.

FDA is creating a digital health unit within its Center for Devices and Radiological Health in an effort to develop internal technical expertise, and streamline the agency’s software review process and regulation of medical devices.. Here.

Microsoft revealed a prototype wearable (Project Emma) that claims to help those with Parkinson’s disease reduce hand tremors by vibrating at the right time and place to “distract” the mind from creating tremors. Here.

A sign of the times that Amazon Prime (consumer distribution strategy) impacts the share price of a digital health company. Here.

UC Davis taps Healbe to validate caloric intake-tracking wearable band. I’m hugely skeptical of claims that non-invasive energy/caloric intake measurement actually works, but I’m glad to see them taking a long-term (5-year study) clinical validation approach to proving it. Here.

Data

One analyst firm is claiming Samsung’s Tizen OS has overtaken Android Wear for 2nd place in smartwatch deployments (Apple still far ahead in unit sales). If these numbers are anywhere near accurate it means big growth in the last few quarters for Samsung, which was recently in mid-single digits in smartwatch market share. Here.

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