Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Garmin Venu 2 Plays Catch Up

Garmin has updated the Venu 2 smartwatch (now the Plus), and while it’s a fairly minor upgrade, it’s still notable. The new version supports voice assistants (via the phone of course), making calls and text messages. None of this is ground shaking stuff for the smartwatch world, but it is a step forward for Garmin which has its roots very firmly in the connected sports watch market. In addition, the Venu 2 Plus is slightly smaller – 43mm down from a previous 45mm.

The NPD Take:

  • With increased competition in the smartwatch market, Garmin’s niche of sports-first, smart(ish) watch is coming under pressure. As a result, it is key for the company to add features such as this to broaden the watch’s appeal.

Fossil and Razer

Razer has got together with Fossil to create a special edition Fossil Gen 6 that is styled to appeal to Razer’s gaming community. The strap and case both reflect Razer’s branding and there are three watch faces available. To keep things interesting, there wil be only 1,337 models of the watch made, which clearly the companies are hoping will drive the appeal for the watch.

The NPD Take:

  • Launching one of a kind items seems to be in Razer’s DNA these days: last year at CES the company launched a pretty wild looking mask; this year a smartwatch… so next year, a gaming headset for VR perhaps?

Movano Smart Ring

Movano has launched a smart ring, squarely taking aim at Oura which has pretty much had the market to itself till now. Unveiled at CES, but not expected to launch till the second half of the year, the Movano Ring will measure heart rate, HRV sleep respiration rate and blood oxygen. More importantly, the ring appears to be slimmer and more stylish than the somewhat bulky Oura Ring, which may broaden the appeal of the device

The NPD Take:

  • Or it may not. The ring market has failed to really take off, not least because consumers like glanceable information rather than having to reach for their smartphone every time they want to see some basic data. The ring has no clear differentiation against a smartwatch… and fails to tell you the time.
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