Another year, another great Wareable Tech Awards in the bag. Shoreditch Town Hall, London was the home once again for our second awards ceremony and it was great to see so many people from the wearable and smart home industry come together to help us celebrate the outstanding tech that has landed over the past twelve months.
It was also a reminder that while many have doubted the staying power of wearable tech, you only needed to take one look around that room of winners and nominees to know that there’s so much innovation happening right now to feel excited about where things are going and long may it continue.
Read this: A big week in VR and AR
But before we get into the awards, here’s what else went down this week.
Snap Specs experiment cost big bucks
The company’s first foray into making hardware wasn’t quite the success it hoped it would be. After revealing that its first pair of smartglasses had sold more than the first iPod, it was then reported that it had thousands of Spectacles sitting around in a warehouse. This week CEO Evan Spiegel revealed that the wearable cost $40 million in “excess inventory and related charges.” Spiegel admitted that the company may have made a mistake in ordering a large amount of units early after seeing early sales figures. While making hardware clearly provided a lot of challenges, that hasn’t stopped the opening of the first Snap store in London to help shift those unsold Spectacles. The pop-up has landed in Shoreditch’s Boxpark in East London and while it won’t be permanent, it’ll be interesting to see if there is still an appetite for those camera-packing shades.
Fitbit’s big health push
In last year’s Wareable Tech Awards we recognised Fitbit for its growing presence in its devices being used in clinical trials. Now it has been picked by the National Institutes of Health to be part of a long-term study that will examine how lifestyle differences can affect personal health. NIH’s All of US research program, which spans across the US will see 10,000 Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Alta HR devices used in the study.
The study will take place over the course of a year and will monitor heart rate, physical activity and sleep data of subjects participating in the study. Like Apple and Samsung, Fitbit is getting serious about health monitoring. We are also still yet to see it unlock the health-centric sensor it’s packed inside of the Ionic smartwatch that could make its devices even more useful for detecting serious health conditions.
The Wareable Tech Awards 2017
Yes, it was the Wareable Tech Awards this week and the big winners included the Fitbit Alta HR, which was named Wearable of the Year and Fitness Tracker of the Year. You can read what our US editor Hugh had to say on why the Alta HR was the big winner on the night. The Apple Watch Series 3 was chosen as Smartwatch of the Year while the Garmin Vivomove HR secured the Hybrid Watch of the Year award. Hearable of the Year went to the Bragi Dash Pro while Sports Watch of the Year was another win for Garmin and the Forerunner 935. You can find out all about the winners here and let us know if you think we made the right call in all the categories.