Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Royal Caribbean Brings IOT, Wearables on Board

Cruise company Royal Caribbean is launching a connected wearable to provide real-time information and services for its passengers.  The wrist worn device, developed by Vancouver-based IoT company TraceSafe, will provide COVID-19 contact tracing in addition to serving as a room key, digital payment method, and a communications device. To assist Royal Caribbean’s cruise operations, the device will also provide location analytics, which will allow the cruise operator to better understand passenger movement onboard its ships.

The NPD Take:

  • As the cruise industry looks to rebound, the safety of passengers in the age of COVID will be paramount. A connected wearable will allow Royal Caribbean passengers added convenience with digital payments and communication, however the real benefit will be the data gathered by device that will help the cruise operator manage voyages more efficiently and in real time.

You Complete Me

The last week or so has seen both Samsung and Fitbit focusing on their current wearables. Sasmung released its One UI 4.0 update which brought some of its newsest features (from Watch 4.0) to devices such as the Galaxy Watch  Active series. Updates include new watch faces with a higher degree of customizations, an updated grouop challenge in the Work Out with Friends feature and more accurate health tracking. And talking of health, Fitbit has rolled out its ECG app for the Charge 5 tracker. The Charge 5 launched in September but without the ECG app and Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score, so this is catch up on previously promised features.

The NPD Take:

  • Samsung’s move is a good one, and somewhat unusual for OEMs. By offer some of the latest features to existing customers of old models, there is less need for these customers to upgrade devices any time soon. Having said that… when they do upgrade they have even more reason to remain loyal to Samsung since it is proving that it keeps its products relevant for longer. A clever long play.
  • For Fitbit, the addition of ECG fills a gap in its current product between the promise and reality of the Charge 5 at launch. Necessary.
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