We round up the latest smartwatch, VR and hearable unveilings from Vegas
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, they say. But after seeing a slew of announcements already grace the show floor of CES 2018, the old phrase couldn’t be any less true.
Team Wareable is on hand to cover all the action at the year’s biggest tech show – whether that’s new smartwatches, fresh fitness trackers or developments in the world of VR and AR – as plenty of high profile names are setting their stall out for the year ahead.
Below, we’ve rounded up all the unveilings we’ve seen so far, as well as what else we expect to drop before the show clears up. Drop a line in the comments with what you’re hoping to see at this year’s show, and be sure to check back later this week as we round up the best tech we’ve seen from CES 2018.
Big CES 2018 announcements so far
Garmin brings the music with Forerunner 645 Music
We know there’s been a whole lot of Garmin fans that have been waiting for this feature and now you can finally store and play music directly from a Garmin sports watch.
The Forerunner 645 Music, which also comes in a model without music storage, frees up enough room to pile on 500 songs. It also supports the ability to download playlists from select music streaming services as well.
It also serves up the same sports tracking and smartwatch features as the Vivoactive 3, including Garmin Pay support making it the second wearable in the Garmin family to let you pay for stuff from the wrist.
Vuzix AR smartglasses
We tipped 2018 to be a big year for AR and Vuzix is taking the lead with its Blade smartglasses.
The smart specs run on Vuzix’s Blade OS and will pair to your smartphone to display notifications, turn-by-turn directions and other information. They’re also feature a built-in 8 megapixel camera and come with Alexa support so you can make use of the smart assistant on the move.
Keep a look out for our hands-on with the Blade AR smartglasses from the CES show floor.
Nuheara’s new smart earbuds
After Australian startup Nuheara built and launched its pair of IQbuds last year, it’s now unleashed two new models.
The first new hearable is the IQbuds Boost, which brings more personalisation, customisation and amplification than the original IQbuds. It also debuts a feature Nuheara is calling Ear ID, which evaluates a user’s hearing profile to create a more personalised hearing experience.
And joining the IQbuds Boost is the LiveIQ, which brings a slimmer profile and active noise cancellation to the equation. Meanwhile, the existing IQbuds will be receiving a performance boost which brings battery life up to 20 hours for Bluetooth streaming and 40 hours of hearing processing.
Spire and Swim.com make smart swimsuits
Spire has teamed up with Swim.com to launch smart swimsuits for men and women that will automatically track your pool time as soon as you whip the suits on.
The smarts are delivered courtesy of Spire’s new Health Tags, which are fitted into the suit around the beltline and will automatically sync and data to your phone and crunch the swim tracking data inside of Swim.com’s app.
The suits are launching in late March and will be available in a wide variety of suits with an additional fee to get the extra Spire smarts included.
Merge’s VR add-on
After bringing VR fun through its foam headset and adding with AR elements through the Cube, Merge announced a new toy gun will soon join its ranks.
The 6DoF Blaster, as you can see from the picture above, is a purple toy gun which you mount your Android phone or iPhone onto. From there, the smartphone then becomes a portal to a virtual world with 6 degrees of freedom tracking, allowing you to dip, duck, dive and dodge in the game world by moving in real life.
The Blaster will arrive in the summer, with pricing details yet to be announced, and will be joined by a Mini version of its current headset designed for kids aged 10 and above.
Bragi makes the Dash smarter
Hearables boomed in 2017, but the ear will continue to receive further smarts in the new year, courtesy of Bragi. The company has announced it will partner with Audio Analytic, a firm which specialises in sound recognition software, using CES to debut the new technology.
This will allow the headphones to detect when a conversation is happening and automatically adjust the levels in order to listen in. Then, once the conversation is over, the music will crank back up to the previous volume.
It all sounds impressive on paper, and we’ll be stopping by the Bragi booth to check out how it works in practice — stay tuned for our thoughts.
Suunto’s Movesense-powered wearables
Suunto has announced it’s using CES to showcase big moves for its Movesense hardware and software platform.
The company is opening things up to allow developers to build the tech into their own products, and the first round of Movesense-powered wearables, from Supa, All in One, Trimix and Runteq, will be unveiled in just a few weeks time.
Check back to see just how we get on with our first impressions of the first crop, and maybe even word on who else might take advantage of the tech in the future.
CES: 2018 What else we’re expecting
When the company recently launched its first standalone headset, the Vive Focus, in China, it also promised it would soon share what’s in store for Western users in 2018. We expect all the big plans will be revealed when HTC holds its Vive press conference on 8 January.
With so many brands sitting under the Fossil group banner, we’re expecting to see even more jump on board the Android Wear bandwagon which began rolling last year. When we spoke to Fossil back at IFA, it indicated more new companies would be receiving the touchscreen treatment in the new year, so this could include the likes Skagen. Don’t rule out new hybrids, either.
Huwei is holding a press conference on Tuesday, January 9, and we’re expecting wearables will be on the menu. A recently leaked image purporting to show Huawei’s 2018 roadmapshows a new Honor A2 fitness band is coming in Q1 of this year, and we’re hoping this will launch in Western markets out the gate (which the last didn’t). It looks like the company is dropping a new 360 camera, too.