Wearables Week In Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Tag Heuer Launches New Smartwatch

Tag Heuer has unveiled its latest Wear OS-based smartwatch, the third generation Tag Heuer Connected. With a price point starting at $1,800 this is certainly not a mainstream device for the general population, but then again, Tag watches never were and that’s kind of the point of the watch. So what’s new? Well, this version adds heart rate monitoring which means it will be far better at fitness tracking, as well as a new sports app that covers golf, running, cycling, walking, fitness and other sessions. Tag is promising 20 hours of battery life, or 4 hours of GPS sports tracking and the watch will switch between active and ambient modes to preserve the battery.

The NPD Take:

  • Is it a state-of-the-art smartwatch from a functionality perspective? Nope. Will the target demographic care? Absolutely not. This is a smartwatch that exudes the elegance of Tag Heuer design first and foremost and should do very well within the segment of the market that has interest in a smartwatch, but is reluctant to buy a “mass market” timepiece.
  • We don’t see any details regarding a cellular connection and that’s a major omission if true. We expect a cellular connection to become far more important moving forward, although the lack of this functionality has allowed Tag to make a slimmed device. 

Luxury AND a Cellular Connection

If you do have that kind of money to spend on a luxury watch, one alternative is the new Montblanc Summit 2+ which comes with an LTE connection. Like the Tag watch, the Summit 2+ is based on Wear OS and comes with heart rate, GPS, barometer, a compass and more. So you could wear it while running a marathon if you were so inclined. A nice touch are the travel-centric apps that come with the watch, such as the Travel Info app that will offer you local information as well as foreign language translation on the watch. Battery life is claimed at two days (without using LTE) and 3 to 5 days in non-smartwatch mode. The price point starts at $1,100 which seems like a bargain after the Tag Heuer watch.

The NPD Take:

  • The inclusion of LTE is an important one – and a first for Wear OS devices. It helps Montblanc to differentiate from the other luxury smartwatches. The LTE connection is provided by Verizon in the US and will set the owner back an additional $10 per month for service.

Jacquard Meets FIFA Gaming

Adidas has unveiled its Jacquard-powered product and it’s a smart shoe insole. Called Adidas GMR, the product was developed with Electronic Arts (as we mentioned last week) and can measure your kicks, distance and speed. Which seemingly has nothing to do with gaming, until you take a look at FIFA Mobile, the EA Sports football (er, I mean soccer) game for iOS and Android. By combining the insole tech with the game, your real-life performance is linked to your FIF Mobile Ultimate Team and the more you play in real-life, the better your FIF team becomes. In other words, if you are not already to kids kicking you proverbial at gaming, they will now since they have all that free time for player soccer.

The NPD Take:

  • The insoles are priced at just $35 making them a must have for any soccer-playing FIFA game fan. And with over 100 million installs on the Play Store alone, this is a big market opportunity.
  • The Adidas GMT comes with a Jacquard Tag (similar to that found in Levi’s Trucker jackets for example) and has gyroscope, accelerometer and other sensors that allow it to recognize the physical movement of footballers. We can expect this to be the first of several insoles aimed at different audiences, such as runners or other sports. Low priced, easy to retro fit… perhaps the wearables market is finally ready to move beyond the wrist.


Report Sections