Wearables Week In Review

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Week In Review

Amazon launches Halo View

Amazon has upped its game in the activity tracker market, launching the Halo View. That’s an upgrade of sorts from Amazon’s original Halo tracker in that the new one has a screen to show you your stats (the original Halo tracker was more of a smart strap with no screen). The screen is key: our research shows that glanceable data (without reaching for a smartphone) is important to maintaining a bond between the tracker (or watch) and wearer and without the screen, abandonment increases. Amazon has a bit of a trick up its sleeve to further reduce churn: the new tracker (priced at $79.99) comes with one year of Halo Fitness, which offers interactive cardio, strength, yoga, outdoor and mobility classes (similar to Apple Fitness+)

The NPD Take:

  • The screen is key to driving a bond with the owner, but the downside is that Amazon’s new fitness device looks like every other product in the market.
  • The activity tracker market is losing its momentum. We are seeing ownership numbers decline as consumers either give up on the product, or switch over to a smartwatch. The trackers that buck this trend will be advanced-sensor products (Amazon fits that category) and elegant, stylish products (not so much).

My own private cinema

Nreal has announced its new Nreal Air smartglasses, the company’s second generation of glasses (the first being the Nreal Light specs). Unlike other forays into the “smart” glasses market, Nreal’s product does not have cameras. Rather this is inward-facing product, designed to let its wearers stream video in the privacy of their own tiny (internal) cinema. Or not so tiny as it turns out, as the glasses have dual micro OLED displays, which simulate a 201 inch display at 6 meters distance, and a refresh rate of 90HZ.

The NPD Take:

  • It’s an interesting concept and could be very appealing for commuters (particularly those of us stuck on long flights). Is that enough of a market? Perhaps as a good starting point and it would be worth retailing them at airports with that in mind.
  • It is not clear if the new Air glasses have a microphone, which means no voice commands. That helps limit the weight of the device, of course, but makes the product slightly more clunky to use, perhaps. There again, remember the use case: these are not for walking around in, but rather for an immersive, forget-where-you-really-are experience.
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