Before you head out for the weekend, catch up on the many rumors and announcements that you may have missed this week.
1. With the recent success of the budget-conscious Xiaomi Mi Band, Misfit Wearables took the challenge of an affordable wearable into their own hands by releasing the Misfit Flash Link. With functions from fitness tracking to acting as a remote control for music, this $20 device just might currently be the most functional and most reasonably priced device on the market.
2. Despite the slowdown in Apple Watch success these days, rumors of the Apple Watch 2 updates have been spreading quickly. Tech reports are revealing that a bigger battery and an OLED screen are in the works for the watch design, as well as more capabilities such as mobile payment that are independent from Bluetooth. The likelihood of a FaceTime camera has quickly become less likely for this next generation, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing that capability in the next couple years.
3. The geniuses at Microsoft have created a new way to extend the battery life of your wearable. WearDrive is intended to move the most energy performing operations off the actual device and over to your smart phone using bluetooth. This way your wearable will only be responsible for the most basic functions, batteries won’t need to get any bigger, and maybe we can finally stop writing reviews for poor battery life.
4. Oculus VR made a huge play this week with the purchase of the Israel-based, gesture-control company, Pebbles Ltd. This acquisition was a smart, yet expensive (nearly a $60 million) buy for Oculus. While most gesture-control technologies use digitally-generated images of a user’s body, Pebbles allows users to actually see real images of their own hands and arms in their VR display. Hopefully we’ll be getting to see some cool tech updates to the virtual reality world soon.
5. Also fresh from the rumor mill is the news that Google is getting ready for the release of their own watch-to-watch messaging service for Android smartwatches. While the Apple Watch already has a messenger for users to send doodles to one another, it seems as though Google is trying to get a leg up in the smartwatch competition.
6. HTC is taking a couple steps back from the wearables game by delaying the release of their first fitness band, the HTC Grip. The delay is not due to production issues, but instead was a decision made so that HTC will be able to offer a complete line of fitness products later in the year, according to the company’s statement. Considering all of the wearables currently on the market, it’ll take some time and innovation for HTC to be able to stick out from the crowd.