Welcome to And finally, our weekly rodeo of the rumours and whispers that make up the wearable tech industry.
It’s been a big week of news as always at Wareable, as we reported on Apple’s domination of wearables and a new Galaxy Watch 2 in the works.
But there’s also some really interesting movements in the industry with some key new products coming to the fore. Read on for more details.
Samsung to launch AR headsets
Samsung could be about to launch new VR and AR headsets, as it looks to build on its early success with the Samsung Gear VR, reports Variety.
Over at Augmented World Expo in the US, Farshid Fallah, Samsung director of developer relations for XR and gaming, said that it plans to launch “multiple AR and VR products” over the coming months.
While the company has focussed on the Samsung Odyssey that was built for high end gaming experiences, it seems mobile might be back on the agenda.
The new Galaxy S10 is set to feature depth sensors and Bixby Vision which can identify real-world objects, which are key augmented reality building blocks for a headset. When will we see it? IFA 2019 in September could be a top bet.
Amazon builds team for hearable launch
We reported back in April that Amazon was working on an Alexa hearable, and that seems to be confirmed by a spate of new hires. It seems that staff from the now defunct Doppler Labs, which pioneered the hearable space, are moving over to Amazon’s Lab126 – which is developing the new earbud product.
Dave Kemp, who writes hearables blog Future Ear, noted on Twitter that:
A huge congrats to @krliu_advocate!! Super cool.
Amazon’s Lab126 is filling up with Doppler Labs alumni! I would bet that Amazon’s upcoming #hearable will be influenced by some of the earliest #hearables pioneers from Doppler. https://t.co/o6ZuaBkD5N
— Dave Kemp (@Oaktree_Dave) May 28, 2019
KR was a VP at Doppler labs, and has spent time on boards for the Hearing Loss Association of America, World Wide Hearing and also advised Google on disability inclusion.
She obviously is one of the top names for hearing tech. As Principle Accessibility Lead at Lab126, it seems Amazon’s hearable plans are more advanced than a simple AirPod, as it could bring Alexa to those hard of hearing, and of course, master the advanced technology in hearing aid products to bring to the consumer space.
Pokemon Go Apple Watch app pulled
Niantic has pulled support for its Pokemon Go Apple Watch app, as it looks to build out its own software experiences, reports 9to5Mac.
The Apple Watch app fed into the fitness tracking and step counting elements of the game – but the company says that supporting the app diverts attention away from its new Adventure Sync app.
“Pokémon GO is officially ending support for Apple Watch devices. Trainers using Apple Watch will no longer be able to connect their Apple Watch to Pokémon GO after July 1, 2019,” Niantic said in a statement.
“Because Adventure Sync allows Trainers the option of tracking their steps…we want to focus on building Adventure Sync so that Trainers will no longer have to split their gameplay between two devices.”
Adventure Sync launched in November, and imports health data from Apple Health and Google Fit.
Fitbit Pay heads to NY Subway
As the NY Subway stutters into the modern era with contactless turnstiles, it seems wearable users will have plenty of options to tap-and-go, according to TechCrunch.
Along with Apple and Google Pay, Fitbit has confirmed that its payment system will also work on the transport network. The NY Subway is starting with payments for single journeys at first, and will hopefully roll out to all stations by 2021.