All the other news from the week
Welcome back to And Finally, our look at all of the odds and ends that happened in the past week. And, well, actually, not a lot happened this past week. Clearly everyone’s still recovering from pushing out new devices before the Black Friday shopping extravaganza.
That, and we’re in the quiet before the storm. That’s right, CES is just around the corner.
Still, things did happen this week. Adidas cut its wearable division and Google announced which smartwatches will get Android Oreo. You can take a look at some of the other stories that happened this week below, and as always if you need more of a fill you can head over to our dedicated news section.
Bragi will debut new earbuds at CES
Audio Analytic is a company that specializes in sound recognition software, and it has just announced a partnershipwith Bragi to incorporate sound recognition tech into future Bragi devices. The two companies will show off this new technology in a couple ofweeks at CES.
So how would it work? Basically, the technology would allow your Bragi headphones to detect when a conversation is happening, and then automatically adjust your headphones to listen in on that conversation rather than your music. When your conversation is over, the music would go back to the rich volume you were listening to earlier. Seamless and easy, in theory. We’ll have to wait to see whether it works as hinted, but Bragi has been doing some fascinating things in the hearable space and, as we predicted in our Wareable 50, it’s only going to get bigger in 2018.
Walgreen’s rewards more wearable use
Walgreen’s is one of the most popular pharmacies in the US, and many Americans head there to fill out prescriptions, get flu shots and generally try to stay healthy. Walgreen’s has tried to capitalize on this by introducing Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices, which gives you reward points for doing things like getting exercise.
Previously, this only worked with the Striiv fitness tracker, but that’s changing now. Walgreen’s is now opening up support to any fitness tracker that can connect to Apple Health. So now you can get rewarded for simply walking around with your Apple Watch, and then you can use those rewards to buy things at Walgreen’s.
LifeFitness GymKit support coming in 2018
GymKit has officially launched for Apple Watch, but despite the software being ready the actual infrastructure to use it still isn’t mature. Technogym is the first manufacturer out the gate to support the feature, and it’ll be joined by LifeFitness, a popular gym machine manufacturer, in early 2018.
At first, LifeFitness’ machines with GymKit support will be limited to Equinox gyms in the US, starting in New York City. When asked whether support will roll out to other gym chains, like 24 Hour Fitness, LifeFitness basically did not comment. Either way, this is a big step for GymKit.
Yeah, smart clothing is gonna be a big deal in 2022
Another week, another story about how smart clothing is going to be a big, huge deal in the future. New research from ABI Research says smart clothing will account for 31 million device shipments in 2022, up from just under 5 million in 2017. It’ll have the second-highest growth rate among wearable devices, only trailing the burgeoning hearable market. With the likes of Project Jacquard and Spire Health Tag around, it feels like we’re about to turn the corner on smart clothes.