Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Sound of silence

It’s the staple of spy movies: the gadget that is switched and placed on the desk to block eavesdroppers. And now, it comes as a bracelet and is designed for you and me. Two computer science professors at the University of Chicago developed the bracelet to jam any Echo or similar device from listening into the wearer’s conversations. The device does this via 24 speakers that emit a hypersonic sound

The NPD Take:

  • It’s hardly a slim design right now (downright chunky would be a fairer description) but that actually hits the point. It’s Steampunk-ish and makes a statement of “I want my privacy” and that in itself could become quite a fashion statement with the right marketing.
  • Often we look at these innovations and consider how they could be brought into the mainstream… but this product is designed to resist the mainstream by and large. Don’t expect it to be a feature coming to your smartwatch; but do expect to get less bulky versions over time, perhaps that you don’t wear as much as pull out and pop on the desk, just like the movie spies do.

TicWatch Pro update

Mobvio has launched an updated TicWatch (the Pro) continuing its line of affordable Wear OS smartwatches. Priced at $260 (available via Amazon in March) the watch comes in silver or black. The magic of the TicWatch (as with previous generations) is the dual screen with both an OLED and FSTN LED display. The LED screen sits on top of the OLED and is transparent when not in use and by taking this dual screen approach, the device has a battery life of up to 30 days. 

The NPD Take:

  • The TicWatch Pro is an affordable smartwatch solution based on WearOS, which is much-needed support for Google’s ecosystem. But this “Pro” version is, in many ways, a step back from the previous version as it does not support a cellular connection.
  • Having said that, the new version offers military standard 810G certification meaning that it can handle extreme temperatures (-4 to 131 Fahrenheit) and survive under water to a depth of 4.9 feet for up to 30 minutes. Add to that a low price and long battery life and the watch has significant appeal.


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