Major news and new releases in the world of wearables
Welcome to the latest installment of JCK’s This Month in Wearables—a monthly rundown of what’s hot and happening in the world of wearable devices and technology.
Jawbone Isn’t Folding
Dispelling rampant rumors that it’s exiting the market, seminal wearable manufacturer Jawbone released a statement saying: “Speculation that Jawbone is exiting the wearables business or going out of business altogether is false…. Jawbone remains wholly committed to innovating in and building great wearables products. The company has never been more excited about its pipeline of technology and products and looks forward to sharing them when ready.” So there you have it.
The Dementia Simulator, a freaky new product that debuted at Central Saint Martins’ student tech show (photo courtesy of Wareable)
Crazy Tech Products Abound at Central Saint Martins’ CSM Show 2
Wareable reported on top design school Central Saint Martins’ student tech design show, CSM Show 2, which continues to represent the “bleeding edge” of smart design. Near the alarm clock that diffuses a hot coffee scent and the exoskeleton clothing was a face-encasing helmet that puts users in a confused mind state that mimics dementia. It’s actually called the Dementia Simulator and will likely be coveted by exactly no one. More on the show’s wild and weird tech here.
Apple Watch (photo courtesy of Apple)
Best Buy Selling Apple Watches for $49
JCK news director Rob Bates reported this week that a new Best Buy promotion is letting buyers “pick up an entry-level Apple Watch for $49, a substantial markdown from its original $299 price tag.” To get a 38 mm Apple Watch Sport at that price, “buyers must buy or lease an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus with a two-year contract.” Is Apple having a fire sale because it’s introducing a second-generation Watch later this year? Inquiring tech blogs want to know.
The Sleepman will help you stay awake on the road (and also monitors your sleep patterns) through electro-dermal activity (photo courtesy of Sleepman).
Sleepman, the Anti-Activity Tracker, Debuts on Kickstarter
New tracker device Sleepman monitors sleep patterns, but it also claims to improve sleep quality and wakes up sleepy drivers if they begin to doze off. The wristband uses electro-dermal activity sensors that collect electromagnetic bio-signals. A doze-off alert warns drivers when they’re in danger of falling asleep. The Sleepman is currently trying to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter and was just over $15,000 at press time. Kickstarter pricing is $99 (the device will sell for $250). Shipping starts in November.
Levi’s and Google’s connected denim jacket, Project Jaquard (photo courtesy of Levi’s)
Cannes Lions Attracts Wearables Makers
Cannes Lions, an eight-day event held in Cannes, France, that strives to bring together innovative thinkers from all over the world, experienced its fair share of wearable tech buzz this year. Google’s and Levi’s connected denim jacket, Project Jaquard, nabbed the Grand Prix award for innovation. The jacket lets users connect to a variety of services—think map and music—directly from the jacket sleeve. Doppler Labs won a Product Design Lion award for its Here Active Listening ear buds that let you filter out certain sounds. See the full list of winners on the Cannes Lions website.
Fitbit Betters Its Sleep Monitor
Fitbit, the No. 1 activity tracker brand in the world, has upgraded its sleep-tracking capabilities. Wareable reports that “Available across platforms now and compatible with all Fitbit trackers barring the Zip, the latest app update now offers the ability to set up a new sleep schedule, which aims to create a more consistent pattern of sleep. By looking at previous sleep data logged, it will make suggestions on the optimal amount of sleep you should be getting each night. It’ll also offer customized bedtime and wake-up targets and introduces reminders to help you to stick to your sleep goals.”
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