W|W: The Wearable Weekly – Money for Nothing

Welcome to The Wearable Weekly, your trusted guide to all things wearable tech. If you only have time to read one thing about wearables this week, this is it.

Industry Highlights

It’s been a big week for wearable and payments. Coverage continued to roll in on Nymi’s world first biometric payment processing and a new Apple Watch survey which suggested that 80% of Apple Watch US/UK users have used Apple Pay. In fact, the Apple Pay survey from Wristly found that 79% of Apple Watch owners would prefer to use Apple Pay on their wrist over the iPhone.

Wearables are getting their own TV show! Intel and Turner Broadcasting have teamed up to produce a reality TV with the working title “America’s Greatest Maker” that will see makers create wearables using Intel’s Curie. The show, which will air on TBS, will have Survivor’s Mark Burnett as executive producer and is modelled after Intel’s recent “Make It Wearable” challenge.

For the first time in a long time this week’s smartwatch news was focused not on Apple but a ton of teasers from Android Wear, Motorola, Fossil, and LG. Google teased us with a pretty wicked new feature in interactive watch faces coming to Android 1.3. Motorola leaked sneak peeks of its upcoming round smartwatches, which may come in two sizes. Fossil debuted its Android Wear and Intel powered smartwatch and smart bracelets at IDF ahead of an official launch. And rumours have begun to swirl around a new LG smartwatch codenamed Nemo, which will be round and boast a higher resolutions screen.

Statistics & Forecast

Apple will account for 16.7 million of a total of 24.4 million smartwatches sold this year, says Tractica (Forbes)

80% of US/UK Apple Watch users have used Apple Pay, says Wristly survey (CNET)

The wearable technology market is expected to reach around US $5 billion globally in 2018, according to Hexa Research (MarketWatch)

According to 1010Data, Apple Watch is the revenue leader in the overall wearable category with 42% of total revenue. Fitbit has 31%. Motorola, Garmin, Jawbone, Polar, Pebble, and Samsung combined have 15%. (Business Insider)

Device Announcements

Sony unveiled SmartBand 2 with heart rate monitor, which goes on sale later this year (MobileSyrup)

Blocks showed a sneak peek of the latest design for its modular smartwatch (Wareable)

Epson launched new wearable for runners, Runsense SF-110 (SlashGear)

VTech Launches Kidizoom Smartwatch DX (Twice)

Misfit and Speedo team up to launch of a swimmer-focused Shine (Engadget)

Motorola released a sneak peek of its upcoming smartwatch (MobileSyrup)

Intel and Fossil give a sneak peek of its Android Wear smartwatch and other wearables (MobileSyrup)

Best Buy Canada now selling Apple Watch (MobileSyrup)

Thalmic Lab’s Myo gesture-controlled armband now on sale in Best Buy Canada (BetaKit)

OMsignal and Ralph Lauren unveiled a smart Polo shirt which will go on sale next week (BetaKit)

Funding, Crowdfunding, and M&A

castAR raised $15+ million in Series A funding, led by Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s Playground Global Ventures (Re/Code)

Major Milestones

Google announced that the upcoming firmware update, Android Wear 1.3, will support interactive watch faces allowing taps or swipes to initiate commands or share information (MobileSyrup)

Square Cash launched an Apple Watch app (TechTimes)

Apple released a new link bracelet kit for “larger” wrists (MobileSyrup)

Immersive virtual reality center, Zero Latency, opens in Australia (Engadget)

NFL Jets latest to use STRIVR for training (VRFocus)

American Express debuts Maria Sharapova VR experience for U.S. Open (ESPN)


New Microsoft Band may be unveiled this October (MobileSyrup)

New Moto 360 expected to come in two sizes (MobileSyrup)

Anticipated Samsung Galaxy O line of smartphones made for VR (TechTimes)

LG reportedly working on a round smartwatch with higher resolution (TechRadar)