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Startup Digest

Wearables

January 06, 2017

This week: wearables on Carnival cruise ships, the year ahead for wearables, and LG's headset that doubles as a wearables speaker.

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Wearables Startup Digest is curated by:
Aashay Mody

Aashay Mody - Business Development & Strategy

Contact Aashay Mody at aashay.mody@startupdigestmail.com

Ashish Aggarwal

Ashish Aggarwal - M&A and Corp Dev at Opera Software

Contact Ashish Aggarwal at ashish.aggarwal@startupdigestmail.com

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Carnival Corp Wants Wearable Tech to Elevate the Cruise Experience

Skift

The Walt Disney Company changed the vacation game with its MagicBand technology that gave visitors control over multiple parts of their trip with one wristband. Taking a page from that playbook — as well as a key architect of the Disney project — Carnival Corp. on Thursday plans to unveil its own wearable device that executives say will allow for unprecedented customization and service at sea. CEO Arnold Donald is scheduled to announce the technology — a disc the size of a quarter — during a keynote address at CES, the electronics show. With no screen or menu, the Ocean Medallion syncs to an interface that can be accessed through smartphones and tablets, kiosks in port, interactive portals onboard, devices carried by crew, and stateroom TV sets.

The Wearable Movement Nobody Is Talking About: Audio Devices

Observer

A number of developments have devices like Apple’s AirPods poised to be the must-buy gadget of 2017. Audio consumption is natural. There is no forced behavior change like wearing sunglasses indoors or forcing a millennial who has quite possibly never worn a watch strap one on. Additionally, an audio-based wearable leverages software that has been in development for years, and has been improving, so there is no lag time between hardware release and the point at which developers catch up with useful software. Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft all have smart assistants that would love to (and can) help with your day-to-day. After a decade dominated by larger and ever-improving screens, we’ve finally contracted screen fatigue. It’s audio’s turn now.

Wearable Tech at CES 2017: Expect a Quiet Year

CNET

For the past couple of years, the annual CES trade show in Las Vegas was a hotbed of new wearables. CES 2016 saw the Fitbit Blaze debut at the show, along with plenty of smart clothing concepts. CES 2015 had plenty of fitness trackers, too. In the mobile space -- including wearable tech -- CES has begun to take a backseat to the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona (only about eight weeks later) and company-specific events, such as Apple and Google's annual developer conferences.

The Year Ahead: Wearables in 2017

Wearable Tech Insider

If you read the consumer tech press or the general interest press, you may have come to the conclusion that Wearables are Over. 2017 will put the lie to that. 2017 is going to be the year that health and industrial applications of wearables become commonplace and mainstream. That doesn’t just mean the incorporation of fitness trackers into corporate wellness programs, although that’s clearly a trend that’s gathering steam. It means the placement of sensors in different places on the body and, more important, the maturation of software that can make a difference.

Best and Worst Fitness Wearables of 2016: The Year of the Second-Gen Devices

Ars Technica

2016 was a year of looking inward for most companies making wearables. Big names like Fitbit and Garmin released a handful of totally new products, but most companies focused on making improvements to their existing products.Thanks to developments made this year, we can say that both categories will likely survive—mostly because the consumer wearable landscape has expanded to encompass a few distinct categories: the "move more" devices, the serious training devices, and the all-purpose smartwatches.

LG’s Headset that Doubles as a Wearable Speaker is Peak CES before CES

TechCrunch

LG will be bringing a collar-like wearable wireless speaker to CES, which also includes in-ear buds for when you don’t feel like being a complete jerk.The sonorous neck horseshoe connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and contains “wearable speakers capable of delivering 3D surround sound” when the attached earbuds are safely ensconced within the electronic noise scarf.

Product Review: Misfit Shoots for Simple with the Phase Hybrid Smartwatch

TechCrunch

The Misfit Phase isn’t a groundbreaker. That path has already been blazed and reasonably well trod by the likes of Martian, Withings, Fossil and Timex — companies who saw an opening between an analog timepiece and a full-fledged smartwatch. Something that brings notifications and fitness tracking to the wrist, but otherwise gets out of your way.It’s a next step that makes sense for Misfit. The (now Fossil-owned) company’s devices have traditionally offered some combination of good looks and subtle functionality, and a hybrid smartwatch slots quiet well into the company’s existing ecosystem.

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