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Wearable Tech Trend Report #2 – new Samsung Galaxy Watch, AR Wearables and Pixel Watch rumors

wearable technology headset on woman

Another exciting week went by with many new developments in the wearable tech industry. Wearable tech has once again proved that the possibilities are infinite: not only are we seeing wearables integrate emerging technologies such as AR and AI, but its application is expanding into areas beyond the consumer market. A lot of interesting developments in medical use cases are popping up all the time.

Now, without further ado, below are what caught our eye this week:

Samsung leaks image renders of new smartwatch featuring bezel-less design

According to The Verge, Samsung is working to release a new smartwatch designed for the outdoors, along with the imminent reveal of Galaxy S10 on Feb 20 this year. The new watch is rumored to be named “Galaxy Sport”, and there is an exclusive image render leaked by 91Mobile to confirm its refreshed design.

leaked render image of the new Galaxy watch. Image source: 91mobiles

If you are familiar with Samsung Galaxy S flagship smartwatches, you will notice the iconic rotating bezel missing from the new watch image render. The rotating bezel around Galaxy watch screen has been a distinctive feature that combines usability with aesthetics. It allows the user to easily navigate between apps and scroll through content without having to tap and pinch on a tiny watch screen.

While we at Digiswitch are skeptical about replacing the signature rotating bezel with a plain circular case and two buttons, it’s still exciting to anticipate a more sleek and modern Samsung watch. Smartwatch by Samsung are often rich in features but bulky to wear. With this update, we wish to see a Galaxy watch that looks good on smaller wrists.

New in AR Wearables: Apple Glasses, medical AR glasses

Remember Google glass? One of the biggest flops in wearable technology that proved emerging technology won’t take off unless it fulfills a consumer need. Since the demise of Google glass, interest in Augmented Reality (AR) wearables have not dwindled. Instead, AR wearables are finding their way back, including big players like Apple and new use cases in the medical industry.

Apple has been eyeing the AR/VR consumer market for a while but remained tight-lipped about it. Credible sources from last year claimed that Apple has been working on Mixed Reality (MR) glasses that run on embedded CPU and custom OS known as rOS.

The patented design for the Apple headset which could be used in Apple Glass.

The wearable was said to reveal in 2019 and hit the stores in 2020. Most recently, 63 new patents filed by Apple give us a glimpse of what the futurist headset would look like: a wearable elastic headband that can provide haptic feedback and listen to audio input from the user or make phone calls from the device.

Meanwhile, AR wearable tech is expanding its application outside of the consumer market. For example, the California based company Ocutix developed Computer Mediated Reality (CMR) glasses for assist low-vision patients. It’s basically an aid to manage vision degeneration and other eye defects to achieve functional vision. This could be huge for the global vision-impaired population, which is said to be 30 million.

The Oculenz™ ARwear™ can help patients see better.

Pixel Watch: Most anticipated smartwatch of 2019?

There has been speculation that Google might release its own flagship watch in 2019. Google officially confirmed that there wouldn’t be any Pixel Watch in 2018, but in 2019 the hopes are up again for the watch production. Word on the street is that leaked codename “medaka” is for Pixel watch.

Could this mean Google is finally stepping up its wearable game?

This week, two Google job postings for the wearables department sparked enthusiastic discussion around Pixel Watch again. One is “VP of Hardware engineering for Wearables, and the other is “Wearables Design Manager”. Given that Google’s only other wearable product is Pixel buds and the fact that Google acquired Fossil in Jan 2019, it’s only natural to assume that once again Google is getting serious with smartwatches.

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