Rumours and lighter stories from the week gone by
Another week has come and gone, which means it’s time for And finally, where we round up some of the lighter news from the past seven days.
As ever, it’s been a week filled with action in the world of wearable tech. We gave our verdict on the HTC Vive Pro and Frederique Constant Hybrid Manufacture, while also spent time tracking the latest moves in diabetes technology with Dexcom and Verily.
Read on below for some of the whispers and smaller stories circling the space this week, and for everything else head to our dedicated news section.
Samsung patent shows off big smartwatch
Samsung is no stranger to exploring adventurous designs, and a fresh patent filing reported by IoT Gadgets hints at a future smartwatch that could feature an extended display.
Simply named “wearable electronic device”, the South Korean company has been granted the patent after first applying in November 2016. And though the extent of the device isn’t detailed within the description, we imagine this would work similarly to rest of the Gear line, only with the larger screen to allow for easier input.
As with any patent, it’s never a sure thing that the technology being explored will come to light. However, if you like the look of this smartwatch and you’re also in need of a gym wearable, this is a carbon copy of the Atlas Wristband.
Fitbit stock falls amid software push
Fitbit may have recently announced the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ace, but that doesn’t mean its stock woes are easing.
After Morgan Stanley recommended that investors sell the stock earlier this week, Fitbit’s shares fell 7.5%, with the note from analyst Yuuji Anderson, reported by Bloomberg, describing how Fitbit’s plans to emphasise its software may take a long time to pay off.
“New smartwatches will be outweighed by declines in legacy products, while software opportunities in health coaching will take time to ramp,” he said.
This comes after the fitness tracking giant missed its sales projections for Q4, as well as numerous reports indicating that competition from Apple and Xiaomi has squeezed its influence.
Samsung Gear S3 gets battery life boost
Samsung has been busy rolling out software updates to its range of wearables over the past couple of weeks, and now its the Gear S3’s turn.
You may remember that the South Korean company boosted the flagship smartwatch’s capabilities through Tizen 3.0 late last year, though this unfortunately had a negative effect on the battery life. As a result, Samsung later released a revised version which shored up any juice-draining issues.
Now, according to SamMobile, a further update is being rolled out to the US, Canada and South Korea which extends battery life and stabilises the Bluetooth connection. It’s not yet clear how much more life users will receive on the wrist, or when other territories will receive the update, but those with a Samsung Gear S3 should notice the update happening over the next few days.
Silkworms to help produce smart clothing
Graphene-fed silkworms will soon produce a conductive silk that allows integrated circuits to be woven into a fabric, according to a report from ElectroPages.
And the project, a collaborative effort between Imperial College London and Beijing’s Tsinghua University, is aiming to harness the material in order to develop wearable technology.
Instead of the wiring and traditional sensors being placed around the clothing, the graphene produced by the silkworms would have conductive properties that could replace it and make the material stronger. One proposed piece of clothing by the research team is a maternity dress that leverages the graphene sensors to provide baby and mother health updates for doctors.
The team working on the technology is currently looking for commercial partners, meaning we could see this kind of smart clothing on the market in years to come.