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 grace the show floor of CES 2018 this week, the old phrase couldn’t be any less true.
Team Wareable has been 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 set their stall out for the year ahead.
Below, we’ve rounded up all the big unveilings we’ve seen so far. Drop a line in the comments with what you think stole the show, and be sure to check back at the end of 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 is also available in a model without music storage, frees up enough room to pile on 500 songs, while also supporting the ability to download playlists from select music streaming services.
As you’d expect, the same sports tracking and smartwatch features as the Vivoactive 3 are on board. And that includes Garmin Pay support, making it the second wearable in the Garmin family to let you pay for stuff from the wrist. Check out our hands on with the Forerunner 645 Music for more details on the company’s first music-packing smartwatch.
HTC ups the resolution with new Vive Pro
Look out Oculus Rift, there’s new Vive in town and it’s going to make VR a whole lot clear.
The Vive Pro features a 3k resolution display, which is 78% increase on the current Vive headset. It also comes in a new fetching blue shell, with headphones, dual mics and an amplifier to add 3D spatial audio to the mix.
HTC also announced the Vive Wireless Adapter to help cut the cables while its Viveport app store will now offer VR previews to give you a taster of games and experiences. Have a read of our HTC Vive Pro hands on to see if the new VR headset makes a good first impression.
Fossil’s new Kate Spade and Skagen Android Wear watches
As we noted pre-CES, it simply wouldn’t be a trade show without Fossil Group’s fashion brands releasing an army of new watches. And boy did they deliver once again.
New to the Android Wear ship is the Skagen Falster (shown above) and Kate Spade New York Scallop, while we were also treated to a countless number of new hybrid styles from (*takes deep breath*) Armani Exchange, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Diesel, DKNY, Tory Burch and Fossil itself. As far as new hybrid models go, we saw the unveiling of the Misfit Path, which offers a slight tweak from last year’s Phase.
We’ve rounded up Fossil’s Spring 2018 collections in their entirety, and we expect there’ll be even more to come in March at Baselworld.
Nokia takes on sleep and plays nice with Alexa
Considering it already managed to re-release much of the Withings range after officially taking over the brand last year, we weren’t expecting too much from Nokia at CES. However, we were treated to the Nokia Sleep, which essentially replaces the Withings Aura with a fresh design.
The Finnish company also announced that the Nokia Health Mate app will be receiving Alexa integration, while a rose gold version of the Steel HR is set to land in February in four different styles.
Bragi wants to improve your hearing
Hearables boomed in 2017, but the ear will continue to receive further smarts later this year, courtesy of Bragi. The company has announced it has partnered with Mimi Hearing Technologies in order to develop solutions for those with hearing impairments.
Project Ears hope to create an FDA-approved solution for hearing issues such as tinnitus that may manifest itself as a software update as opposed to some new hardware. We’ve had a demo of the Project Ears tech to find out how impressive it really is.
Samsung tackles visual impairments
Bragi isn’t the only company taking on impairments at CES 2018, with Samsung’s Relúmĭno glasses designed to aid the vision of those who are partially sighted.
A creation from Samsung’s spin-off C-Labs program, the tech launched through Gear VR last year, and now the ambition is to take this into a smartglasses form factor. We were on the show floor to go through a demo of the tech, so check out our Samsung Relúmĭno review for more details on how it all works.
Vuzix unveils 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.
Lenovo helps Daydream stand alone
The Lenovo Mirage Solo, not to be confused with the Mirage AR headset, is our very first standalone Daydream VR headset.
With its display built in so you don’t have to squeeze in your smartphone, the Solo has a 2560 x 1440 resolution and uses Google’s positional tracking WorldSense technology to track head movement without additional sensors.
The Solo is priced at $400 and will go on sale in Q2 2018. You can see what our US editor Hugh made of it in his Lenovo Mirage Solo hands on.
Blocks modular smartwatch is now available for everyone
Blocks, the modular smartwatch that raised over $1 million on Kickstarter two years ago, is finally ready to let anyone get their hands on it.
The Core element, which runs on Android Oreo 8.0, is priced at $259 with individual modules to add extra features setting you back $35. The current crop of add-ons include GPS/GLONASS, an LED flashlight and an extra battery.
More modules are slated to be added in the future, with an ECG heart rate monitor and a bone conduction speaker among those on the way.
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.
Oculus and Xiaomi team up
Oculus and Xiaomi are teaming up for the worldwide launch of the Oculus Go. What this basically means is that Xiaomi is going to release the Mi VR Standalone exclusively in China. It’ll be based on the same technology as the Go, and the two companies are even working together to localize some of the more popular Oculus experiences just for China.
The headsets are largely the same, right down to the look. The only real differences are the logos and a slightly different shade of gray. This is a savvy move on Oculus’ part to combat the HTC Vive Focus, which is HTC’s China-only standalone headset.
Suunto knows when you’ve missed your training
Suunto announced before CES kicked off it was planning big moves for its Movesense platform, but it also took the opportunity to announce the Suunto 3 Fitness, a new sports watch which will focus on building adaptive training plans for users from the wrist. Check out our Suunto 3 Fitness first look.
With regard to Movesense, 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 will come from Supa, All in One, Trimix and Runteq. Check back for our thoughts on the initial crop as we make our way through the show.
ZTE and Wearsafe making personal safety wearables
ZTE and Wearsafe aren’t exactly announcing a specific wearable, but they are forming a partnership to develop personal safety wearables in the future. The hardware will be provided by ZTE, while Wearsafe will bring its personal safety platform to the proceedings. All of this will be underlined by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 1100. Companies this big haven’t really attempted the personal safety wearable yet, so this is a good move.
Samsung Gear and SmartThings
This CES, Samsung went big on the Internet of Things. Specifically, the company talked about how it was working on all of its devices working together. Part of that initiative is a new SmartThings app that’ll give you a glimpse at all your SmartThings products.
There’ll be an app for your Gear S3 or Gear Sport, so you’ll be able to see how your laundry is doing, or whether your dishes are nearly done, right from your wrist. Of course, you’ll also be able to do things such as control lights and thermostats too. It’ll be out sometime this year.