This Month in Wearables: August 2016



Major news and new releases in the world of wearables

Welcome to JCK’s This Month in Wearables—a monthly rundown of what’s hot and happening in the world of wearable devices and technology. 

Judge Sides With Fitbit in Jawbone-Fitbit Case
Jawbone and Fitbit have been embroiled in a court case for more than a year now—Jawbone accused Fitbit of employee poaching and infringing on several copyrights. But a judge for the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled early this month that “no party has been shown to have misappropriated any trade secret.” Wareable reports that Jawbone is “requesting a review and insists it’s just the first round of a global case that covers 340,000 files.” Business Insider reports that the company wanted to block Fitbit from importing trackers into the U.S. This is another big setback for Jawbone, which has been devalued significantly in 2016 and hasn’t dropped a new product since its UP3 tracker, which was released in early 2015. 

 

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Kate Spade wearables (photo courtesy of Fossil Group/Kate Spade)

Kate Spade’s First Wearables Are Super Girly—of Course!
Fossil Group–licensed brand Kate Spade launched the world’s cutest wearables last week—a trio of devices that encompasses a tracker with adorkable cat’s ears, a pink smartwatch with champagne glasses clinking on the bezel, and a shapely open cuff tracker with the phrase “Seize the day” etched on the inside. It’s the first-ever collection of wearables from the brand. See the full story I wrote last week on the release here.

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Huawei kids’ tracker watches (photo courtesy of Huawei)

Huawei Partners With Disney on Kids’ Tracker Watch
This month, wearable maker Huawei debuted a kicky collection of children’s tracker watches in collaboration with Disney. The lightweight plastic devices, which retail for around $100 and are currently available only in China, come in four cartoon motifs: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Captain America, and Frozen. The wearable was made for parents who want to track their kids. Features include an SOS button that sends emergency alerts to a parent’s smartphone and navigation features should the kid wearing it get lost and need a map or two. The watch works with both iOS and Android phones.

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The heartbeat-tracking HB ring (photo courtesy of Touch/HB Ring)

The HB Ring Lets Users Share Each Other’s Heartbeats
This month we also reported on the fascinating HB Ring, which lets you see and feel the real-time heartbeat of a loved one directly on the ring. The wearable is available in a stainless steel or solid rose gold shank, topped with a unibody sapphire crystal (a theoretically unscratchable material) that lets a “lighting stripe” shine through that represents a heartbeat pulsing within a vein. A pair of stainless steel HB rings runs $599; two rose gold rings will set you back $2,990. See the full story here

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Hugo Boss’ first-ever smartwatch (photo courtesy of Movado/Hugo Boss)

Hugo Boss Debuts a Dapper Smartwatch
Early this month, Movado, the parent company of Hugo Boss watches, unveiled the Boss Smart Classic connected watch, featuring basic notifier and activity-tracking functionality. For a smartwatch, its styling is notably classic-feeling. See the full story here

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The Bellabeat Urban Leaf (photo courtesy of Bellabeat)

Bellabeat Debuts a Second Leaf Device
Bellabeat, which has sold more than 400,000 units of its pretty Leaf activity tracker in the past two years, debuted the Leaf Urban—an activity, sleep, and period/fertility tracker for women—on Aug. 1. And it’s mission is profound (well, for a tech gadget): It aims to give users “insight into which parameters create higher stress levels in your life” and help us “learn to manage them.” Intrigued? See the full story here

(Top photo of Fitbit Flex FB402BK Wristband Pack courtesy of Fitbit)

JCK Magazine Editor