Your round-up of the whispers and lighter stories from the past week
Welcome to And finally, the place where we round up all the rumours and lesser wearable tech stories from the past week.
It’s been another busy week in-house as we prepare for the Wareable Tech Awards 2017, but we still found time to talk to Doppler Labs, which is sadly shutting down, hear how Fitbit is planning more smartwatches and see Under Armour detail its plan to shift focus from fitness trackers to software.
But what else has been going on this week? Well, read on to find out.
Apple Watch Series 3 has screen issues
Apple has issued an internal memo to both its Genius Bars and Apple Authorised Service Providers regarding an issue with non-LTE Apple Watch Series 3 models experiencing screen issues, according to MacRumors.
While not affecting higher-end models, likely due to a difference in internal design, entry-level Series 3 devices have been found to feature “edge stripes” after use. To verify the problem, an employee will ask the customer to rub their finger over the display to allow the fault to appear.
If no stripes show up, Apple suggests cleaning the display and have the customer breathe on the display edge to create humidity — suggesting that problem is potentially related to moisture.
All in all, it’s not the best news for those who have just picked up the new smartwatch. However, with the issue appearing to be an issue on the manufacturing end, it should fall under free repair territory with Apple’s one-year limited warranty policy – phew.
Nokia Steel gets some flavour
We’re expecting Nokia to complete its re-launch of Withings’ line later this year with the Nokia Steel HR, but until then the Finnish company has unveiled two limited edition colour variations for the non-HR hybrid smartwatch.
The first is a white Nokia Steel with a rose gold case, available for $149.95, and the second is a full black device, which comes at a slightly cheaper $129.95. Both limited edition watches also come with the option to pair with a leather strap, though Nokia has indicated that all devices are only available while stock lasts.
Smart clothing shipments set to boom
Smart clothing shipments are projected to increase from around 5 million in 2017 to over 31 million by 2022, according to ABI Research.
The firm’s figures reveal that the area of wearable tech will see the second highest growth over the next five years behind hearables, and cite the potential entry into smart clothing by bigger brands as cause for the spike.
As we know, there aren’t too many companies out there right now providing truly smart garments, though with the likes of Google’s Project Jacquard taking shape and sensor technology always improving, seeing this kind of growth in half a decade certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise.
Pikachu invades your smart speaker
On the lighter end of the news spectrum this week, we saw The Pokémon Company announce that it will launch an app called Pikachu Talk for smart speakers. The app itself won’t be making its way outside of Japan until next year, though it will be free when it hits the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home range.
It’s not yet clear what the app’s exact functions will entail, since, y’now, Pikachu can only say its own name, but we look forward to the electric mouse invading our homes and attempting to talk us through our shopping list or commute to work.