Wearables Week in Review

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Week In Review

It was CES week which always guarantees a flurry of wearables-related announcements.

Mojowa added an AI couch to its headphones

Mojowa announced its new HaptiFit Terra bone-conducting headphones that include an AI-based sports trainer. The AI can create custom exercise plans and tracks your heart rate, step count, calories burned and distance. Of course, to really make use of the headphones, you still need to carry around your smartphone (at the very least so you can stream your music) which, to our mind, provides a poorer experience than a cellular-connected smartwatch. And perhaps for that reason, this is a category that has failed to make a significant impact to date. Will Mojowa succeed where others have failed to impress? Probably not…

Garmin adds a heart rate monitor for sports bras

While all smartwatches track your heart rate adequately, there is still a niche for a heart rate monitor closer to the heart. And Garmin’s latest entry into this space is rather neat in that it attaches to a sports bra rather than being a separate and somewhat uncomfortable band strap. Obviously, the Garmin monitor works within the Garmin ecosystem, so if you already have one of the company’s smartwatches this is a nice add on for consumers who are very focused on their performance. That’s a niche market… but it’s a niche that Garmin already targets well, so this is a logical expansion for the company.

ASUS launches AirVision M1 glasses

The ASUS AirVision is aimed at the desk-jockey rather than the sports-addict. It is a continuation of the trend towards virtual desktops, letting the consumer see multiple “monitors” inside the glasses. This is seen as rather tempting for people who travel away from their home-based multi-monitor solution, allowing them to have the same level of productivity while in a hotel, on a plane and so on. There are downsides, of course. If you do not touch-type, for example, and need to glance down at your keyboard, the jump from a virtual monitor to real keyboard can seem a bit jarring for users. But we do feel, overall, that this is a category worth keeping an eye on. It is (sort of) the market that Apple will be going after with is Apple Vision Pro, although that device will be standalone while the ASUS (and other glasses in this category) typically need to be connected to a laptop or phone for the input source. Still, while pricing has not yet been announced for the ASUS device, it’s a safe bet that the price will be a fraction of Apple’s Vision Pro.

Apple Vision Pro

Talking of the Vision Pro… while Apple does not come to CES (or any other trade show for that matter) it does occasionally get tempted to disrupt the world from afar. The elephant just outside the CES room was Apple’s Vision Pro availability announcement. The company announced that the new device will be available to purchase ($3,499) from February 2 with pre-orders starting on January 19.

Humane in trouble?

Humane was not at the show either, and is expected to start shipping its Ai Pin in March. But the news circulating CES was that Humane is already struggling a little. The company has apparently cut its staff by 10 people (four percent of total staff) which CEO and co-founder Bethany Bongiorno called ”part of a wider refresh of our organizational structure as our company evolves with purchase for this next phase of growth.” Among the changes; CTO Patrick Gates will be moving into an advisor role. While an interesting device, we do not have high hopes for the Ai Pin (see blog). 

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