Welcome to the week in wearable tech – back once again to bring you a digest of what’s happened in the past week. The news was dominated by two Fitbit leaks – first of a new Fitbit kids fitness tracker and a second of what looks to be a Fitbit Versa Special Edition smartwatch – with no visible changes to the design.
Read on for a run-down of the rest of the week’s news that you might have missed.
We’re hurtling towards the release of Samsung’s next smartwatch – with speculation rife on exactly what it will be called. There’s two schools of thought – the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Sport – and leaks this week show it could be the former.
XDA Developers has spotted firmware files for Samsung’s forthcoming release which point to the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active monikor – and what it claims is a full spec sheet for the forthcoming smartwatch.
We’re looking at it running Tizen 4.0 (sorry no Wear OS) and an Exynos 9110 processor. The firmware files also, allegedly, reveal a 1.3-inch circular display, at 318DPI and a 360×360 resolution – and a smaller 230mAh battery, which is significantly smaller than any Samsung smartwatch before it.
There’s also GPS, NFC, a heart rate monitor – and the entry makes special mention of a “stress monitor”. It looks the complete package, as you’d expect from Samsung which will always compete with Apple and Fitbit on the specs.
We’re expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active at either Unpacked or MWC in the coming weeks. And check out our guide to the best smartwatches of 2019.
Google to hire new VP of wearables
Big things are happening in wearables at Google (is this 2014?!) with the company hunting for a VP of wearable hardware engineering – as it looks to step into creating its own devices. The job listing outlines the role, with the candidate “responsible for the design, development, and shipment of all Google’s Wearable products.”
“You will lead and enable the effectiveness of a large engineering organization primarily based in Mountain View to develop multiple next-generation wearable products simultaneously.”
The onus on “multiple next generation wearable products” is pretty exciting –and shows that Google isn’t happy with its current lot. While Wear OS has had some traction, Google has never manufactured a wrist-based wearable of its own. And the fact that the company just shelled out $40 million for Fossil’s smartwatch IP for future technology indicates it’s getting pretty serious. Pixel Watch – here we come.
Google Glass is back
It really is 2014! Quick, put a bet on the Seattle Seahawks to win the Super Bowl – and also put a sneaky wager on Google Glass to be wholly underwhelming. That’s because Google’s about to drop the Google Glass Enterprise 2 after it landed at the FCC – according to Android Headlines.
There’s precious little information about the smart specs, which will only be available for business use. Are we excited? Not really – but check out our round-up of smartglasses that have got us bristling.
Strava hits the slopes
Long the preserve of cyclists and runners, Strava has expanded to include skiing and snowboarding tracking as part of its offering. It’s actually a partnership with Slopes, which provides an Apple Watch app to track your time out in the white stuff.
You just link the Strava iPhone app to your Slopes account and you’re good to go. Hopefully, this will be expanded to Garmin and other sports watches – and Strava can make the data as useful and interesting as it does for running.