CES Day 1 (1/5/2017): Wearables Remain A Strong Presence
Table of Contents
- 1 CES Day 1 (1/5/2017): Wearables Remain A Strong Presence
- 2 All New Devices and Wearables Announced at CES 2017
- 3 Fitbit Remains at The Forefront
- 4 CES Day 2 (1/6/2017): Wearables Remain A Strong Presence
Day 1 of CES (Offical Day 1/5) is in the books, and just as in years past, wearables were making the news. Although there wasn’t a flood of new traditional trackers, there were plenty of innovations, apps and unconventional devices to have people talking.
From Fitbit to Fossil, there were lots to see and admire, and we have a round-up of all the day’s news in case you missed any of it.
All New Devices and Wearables Announced at CES 2017
Let’s start things off looking at the new devices that debuted, courtesy of Fossil and Misfit. These 2 brands are known for their trendy looking devices, and they continued in that vein this year.
Fossil had everyone talking by extending its Fossil Q line with 3 new hybrid smartwatches. Fossil Q is known for their eclectic, eye-catching designs, and these 3 new offerings fit right in.
These devices run on Android 4.4 or higher and will be available in the spring for between $175-$215.
Here’s a rundown of the 3:
- Fossil Q Accomplice: The slimmest, most delicate hybrid to date, it has a classic, polished strap, with a modern, minimalistic face. It looks like a high-end watch, so no one will know it’s a tracker but you.
And it doesn’t just look beautiful. It is completely customizable, with up to 3 pushers that you can tailor through the Fossil Q app, and an always-on gauge that you can program according to your needs. Plus, it has a no-charge battery, so you can wear it and forget it.
- Q Modern Pursuit: This is a variation on the Q Accomplice, and geared towards those with a more active lifestyle. It has a bolder look, with vibrant colors and graphics that let users quickly glance to see stats and text or media notifications.
The silicone band combines with analog sports hands, give it a vintage feel that works in any setting.
- Q Grant: The last hybrid is simple in design, but delivers regarding features. The Q Grant has a simple analog design, and watch hands with a highlighted red pointer for easy reading. It is the epitome of discreetness, making it ideal to wear in any setting.
Misfit, which was acquired by Fossil a little over a year ago, also revealed a new device, their first watch offering ever. Called the Vapor, it has a stylish design that is sure to impress thanks to the interactive touchscreen face that “vaporizes” when performing certain functions.
It looks like a typical smartwatch, with a stainless-steel bezel and interchangeable straps, but the straps have a trendy shape that gives it a more modern appeal. Moreover, the bezel acts as a touch wheel and can control certain functions on the watch.
Getting into specifics, it has a 1.4” full AMOLED touchscreen display, built-in GPS, optical heart rate sensors, and, according to the company, a 2-day battery life. If it functions even half as good as it appears to, this is a solid new offering.
It is expected to ship later this year and retail for around $199.
Fitbit Remains at The Forefront
Fitbit may not have any new devices to unveil, but that didn’t stop them from making a splash. Thanks to some exciting new Fitbit partnerships, updates, and improvements to existing apps, they created quite a buzz and gave users plenty to like. They led the day with 4 new announcements, the first being their partnership with 3 of the hottest health brands, Habit, Peloton, and VirZoom, to create Works with Fitbit®
Works with Fitbit allows users to receive numerous benefits, from custom meal plans to credits for VR activities, right through their existing device. It changes the landscape of tracking, allowing users more options and customization.
Here are the highlights of this plan:
- Their collaboration with Habit gives users customized food options, recipes and nutrition plans, based on individual data.
- By partnering with Peloton, creator of the revolutionary indoor biking experience, every Fitbit user who rides one of their bikes will have their trip date automatically synced and uploaded to their device.
- Finally, by teaming up with VizRoom, Fitbit puts the fun back in getting fit, giving you credits directly on your device when you VR bike ride and have data synced when they participate in any VR activities.
And this was just the beginning. Following this announcement came news that the company will be partnering the Charge 2 with Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform and become a part of the UnitedHealthcare Motion™ wellness program.
This program is employer sponsored, offering incentives for users who work to improve their health. The way it works is simple: The program has a set of activity goals called F.I.T. (frequency, intensity, and tenacity). Those wearing a customized Charge 2 can measure their daily activity levels against the program’s benchmarks, and receive money (up to $1500 a year) for hitting specific goals.
The money goes into a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). This program is great, as it can vastly improve the wearers’ health, and helps cut down on rising health care costs.
Regarding apps, the big news of the day was the improved Fitstar Personal Trainer app, which takes customization to a whole new level. With the new app, there is an extended exercise library, new coaches, and most importantly, improved, and personalized guidance.
Unlike the old version, with this new app, your data, including age, gender, and daily movements, are used to send recommendations for exercise frequency and types directly to your device.
Also, some great updates are coming for the Fitbit Blaze. Now, users will have access to 2 new features: Cardio Fitness Level and Relax guided breathing sessions. With Cardio fitness, your device will take your user profile, heart rate, and exercise data to compute your VO2 Max, then compare it to others in your age group to determine your fitness level.
With Relax guided breathing sessions, your device can teach you how to control your breathing and sync it with your heart beat. Through 2 and 5-minute sessions, as well as video and vibration cues, you can learn to breathe better, helping you to relax, control stress and improve health.
Finally, the Fitbit Community is also being enhanced, with FEED, a social feature that allows wearers to engage more with others, sharing inspirational stories, badges and more. There are also new GROUPS, which finds groups that fit your interests, and access to Fitbit health experts. You can even find workouts in your area, making exercise easier than ever.
AS you can see, today was a busy one for wearables at CES 2017. There were some interesting new offerings from Fossil and Misfit, as well as new and exciting innovations and features from Fitbit. The new devices have a fresh look and feel that seem to be taking the field in a new direction, while the new apps and features from Fitbit appear to expand the genre further. Bottom line: there is a lot to be excited over!
CES Day 2 (1/6/2017): Wearables Remain A Strong Presence
Wearables aren’t dead yet!
Day 2 of CES is over, and once again, wearables were front and center. There may not have been as many devices on display as in years past, but the ones on display more than deserved all the attention they garnered.
There were offerings from new companies, eye-catching models from established ones, and some new Android devices, all worth getting excited over.
And we have a recap of it all for you right here. Read on to learn all about the latest smartwatch and tracker offerings from CES day 2.
Many expected Garmin to unveil a new Fenix device, and they surpassed those expectations by revealing 3 new models as part of The Fenix 5 series. A daring combination of form and function, it elevates the brand by finally giving users devices that deliver in terms of looks and features.
One of the best things about this series is that each model targets a target group and addresses a particular need. The Fenix 5 is perfect for anyone looking for a more polished, cutting-edge design. It has a 47mm casing, is compact and streamlined, and will be available in a variety of colors.
Meanwhile, the Fenix 5S is every woman’s dream, designed with a 42mm casing that looks perfect on a tinier wrist. The smaller casing makes it feel light and look delicate, without sacrificing its rugged durability. Finally, the Fenix 5X is the most impressive, boasting a 51mm casing that guys will love.
All 3 models are similar in terms of looks, with a sporty, rubberized band and round, polished faces. They also all share the same features: a 3-axis gyroscope, barometric altimeter for measuring altitude and movement, and of course, GPS. Also, they are equipped with GLONASS, for precise location tracking, kicking their level of accuracy up a notch.
Garmin is known for their quality, and with these 3 you pay for it, with the 5 and 5S models going for $599 and the 5X selling for a whopping $699; they will be available sometime during the first half of 2017.
Casio Smart-Watches 2017
Casio’s “WSD-F20,” an upgraded version of their PRO TREK smartwatch, it has a lot of features worth noting and is a welcome option for outdoor enthusiasts and swimmers.
One of the most prominent new dynamics of the WSD-F20 is that it will be one of the first devices to run Android 2.0, Google’s new operating system. Yes, a new system can be a bit scary for consumers, but Google is a proven entity, and this system won’t differ much from the other Android operating systems.
But what I like most about this watch is all the outdoor friendly features; if you like to hike or swim, you’ll be jumping up and down with this device. Among its most noteworthy features are: it is waterproof up to 50 ATM, has GPS, and offers offline mapping.
It’s nice that someone understands the value in a waterproof model, and GPS is always a welcome addition, improving tracking and statistical accuracy.
But it’s the offline mapping that is a huge selling point, because it allows the user to get guidance and find their way around, even in areas with no cellular service. That is something no other tracker currently offers.
Also, this watch has a pressure sensor, compass, built-in microphone, and times for sunrise and sunset. For campers and hikers, these are extras that, combined with the other features, justify the $500 price tag. They also enhance the outdoor experience, ensuring no matter how far you are, you have everything you need to explore.
Surprisingly, the look of this watch, while rugged, is quite appealing. It will be available in black, or black with orange accents (my personal favorite) on April 21.
Armani Exchange made its wearable debut with the Armani Exchange Connected hybrid smartwatch line. Armani is part of the Fossil Group, which is pushing to have more of its brands, including Kate Spade and Diesel, make their mark in this field.
The A/E Connect hybrid smartwatch is quite impressive for a first offering. Rugged, yet polished, it comes in black, orange, white or blue, and has a simple, analog face. But don’t be fooled by that minimalistic look, as this watch has all your tracking essentials.
It can count steps, distance and calories, monitor your sleep patterns and has push notifications to keep you on track. The one downside is that you need to use the Android or iOS smartphone app to get more detailed data and set goals.
But that is a small inconvenience, especially when you consider the budget-friendly $175 price tag; it will be available through the company website in February.
Jewel giant Swarovski also made news and announced they would be releasing an Android-powered device of their own, in partnership with Qualcomm and Google. The as yet unnamed device will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset inside and is made for women. It will debut in March at Baselworld 2017, with more details expected in the coming months.
Polar Innovative Wearable – Team Pro Shirt
Polar had a new fitness tracker at CES, but it’s not what you’re thinking, or expecting. Called the Team Pro Shirt, it is a high-tech, polo style shirt that tracks heart rate and uses GPS.
The heart rate monitor is embedded in the material, while the GPS tracking sensor is in the collar so that wearers won’t feel or be irritated by either. As of now, these shirts are designed for pro sports teams, as the data collected from each player transmits to the company’s Team Pro system for iPad.
Also, the GPS can track speed and distance, for precise measurements.
It will be available in May, and the price is expected to be released closer to that date.
As you can see from our day 2 recap, there was a lot to see and be excited about, regarding new wearables. From stylish new watches to cutting-edge shirts, these new devices deliver on multiple levels. I am glad to see waterproofing, as well as more classic and elegant designs. I also think women are better represented this go-round, in terms of size and design. Overall today proved that there is still so much to accomplish in this ever-expanding field!