It’s been a strange week. Huawei’s CEO revealed that he’s not a big fan of smartwatches despite just launching the Huawei Watch 2. Then we learned that Fitbit is having both hardware and software problems producing its much-rumored smartwatch. And in other problematic news, Samsung confirmed that Bixby will be delayed by a bit.
On the plus side, there were three new device announcements this week, with the Garmin Vivosmart 3, the Misfit Flare and the ZTE Quartz smartwatch all breaking cover. We also learned that Fitbit is making a pair of bluetooth headphones that sit around your neck, though we don’t know if there are any other functions.
But that’s not all. There was more that went on this week, and if you need an even bigger news fix be sure to head on over to our dedicated news page.
Alphabet’s investigative health watch
Verily Life Sciences used to be known as Google Life Sciences before parent company Alphabet was born. Verily has been working on health-based initiatives, and just unveiled the Study Watch, a purely investigative device that uses an E-Ink display and passively collects health data. It can collect your heart rate (via ECG), electrodermal activity and inertial movements. It also comes with enough internal storage to store a week’s worth of data and a processor powerful enough to run Verily’s health algorithms. The only thing it doesn’t have is a street date, because it’s only available to partners for health studies (hence the name).
Apple sues Swatch over ‘Tick Different’
Swatch has a new marketing campaign, and it might sound a little familiar: Tick Different. Apple thinks it sounds familiar too, and has promptly sued the Swiss watchmaker due to the ad’s similarities to Apple’s 1990s ‘Think Different’ campaign.
For its part, Swatch says the ‘Tick Different’ campaign is actually based on Swatch’s old ‘Always different, always new’ campaign. And, well, that seems to be a bit of a stretch, especially when you consider Apple and Swatch’s spoiled relationship ever since their rumored smartwatch partnership reportedly died out.
Harmon Kardon’s Cortana speaker
We already knew that Microsoft’s first Cortana-powered speaker would come from Harmon Kardon this year, but now we know a little more. The speaker will be called the Invoke, which is both unique and generic at the same time, and will have Skype integration, reports MSPoweruser. Seeing as taking calls is one of the few features speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo are missing, this is a unique point that Microsoft can take advantage of.
SOS feature saves Apple Watch wearer
Wearable SOS feature can make it incredibly easy to call for help when you’re stuck in a find. That happened to Casey Bennett this week. He was driving home from school in Maryland when his car was struck by another vehicle, sending his Jeep flipping over three times and landing upside down, he told The Daily Mail. He was stuck in his seat, but his iPhone had tumbled too far away for him to use it to call for help. So he turned to his Apple Watch, using its Emergency SOS feature. The police arrived six minutes after that, and all his emergency contacts were notified. Handy.