Wearables

Intel goes after Apple Watch with $495 MICA fashion band for women

Hot on the heels of the Apple Watch, Intel unveiled a new luxury wearable at a media event on Monday, aimed at women with a snakeskin band and AT&T connectivity – no phone pairing necessary. Priced at $495, the smart bracelet, thing, allows users to receive, dismiss, and reply to text messages, email, and Facebook and Google notifications, completely independent of a smartphone.

Apple removes Fitbit products from online store

Apple has followed through with plans to stop selling Fitbit devices. As noted by MacRumors, the company has pulled all Fitbit products from its online store and has begun removing them from the shelves of its retail stores as well.

Previously, Apple carried the Fitbit Flex fitness band and the classic Fitbit one, both of which connected to iOS devices. The reason behind the removals is unknown, but there does appear to be tension brewing between the two firms.

Jawbone introduces new ‘UP3’ and ‘UP Move’ fitness trackers

Jawbone joined the onslaught of pre-holiday wearable announcements this morning, introducing two new connected devices for tracking movement: the UP3 and the UP Move. The UP3 is a much improved version of the current UP24 band, and the UP Move is an inexpensive, clip-on tracker.

The UP3 is billed as the “world’s most advanced fitness tracker,” and is both smaller and lighter than its predecessor. It’s also sporting a refreshed design, and it contains some cutting edge new sensors that allow it do things like measure your resting heart rate, and identify what you are doing.

Microsoft launches $199 fitness band with 10 sensors

Microsoft this morning unveiled its long-rumored wearable: the Microsoft Band. With a design resembling Samsung’s Gear Fit, the fitness-tracking wristband features 10 sensors, supports all major mobile platforms, and integrates with Microsoft’s new cloud-based Health service.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft decided to skip any kind of media event or press release, opting instead to reveal the device to Recode following the discovery of new Health apps on iOS and Android last night. So was this meant to downplay an insignificant launch? Let’s find out.

Microsoft outs upcoming ‘Band’ wearable in new Health app

Microsoft has outed its upcoming ‘Band’ wearable in what appears to be the premature release of multiple applications. This evening, ‘Microsoft Health’ landed in iPhone, Android and Windows stores, and a Microsoft Band Sync client popped up in the Mac App Store.

It’s unknown at this time if the releases were unintentional, or part of a cheeky PR stunt, but it’s likely the former, given the scope of the apps. Microsoft has long been rumored to be working on a cross-platform wearable, and recent reports say it’s preparing for launch.

FitBit unveils next-generation activity trackers and a $250 fitness superwatch

After recalling its rash-inducing Force wristband back in February, FitBit on Monday launched a new family of activity trackers, the FitBit Charge and Charge HR, while making its first foray into the smart watch space with the FitBit Surge fitness accessory.

The water-resistant Fitbit Charge, billed as “the Force reinvented”, is an improved version of the activity tracker with an OLED screen and a seven-day battery. The Fitbit Charge HR is an improved version of the Charge wristband with FitBit’s PurePulse heart rate sensors and a five-day battery.

As for the Fitbit Surge, this $250 fitness watch packs in a total of eight sensors for more detailed logging of activities such as running and working out. Jump past the fold for more details.

Nike CEO discusses collaboration with Apple on fitness wearables

Even though he stopped short of offering any specifics, Nike CEO Mark Parker in an interview Thursday with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle kinda confirmed that partnering with Apple on things “we couldn’t do independently” is ”part of our plan”.

The iPhone maker recently hired a pair of engineers from Nike’s FuelBand team.

These hirings came after the media reported that Nike was significantly downsizing its wearables team and refocusing its strategy. Two months ago, the California firm made more high-profile hires as Ben Shaffer, Nike’s design director for wearables, and the widely recognized fitness expert and key Nike FuelBand developer, Jay Blahnik, both joined the Apple team.

Now Director of Fitness, Health Technologies at Apple, Blahnik can be seen explaining the benefits of Apple Watch in Apple’s Health and Fitness promotional video.

Design concept reimagines popular iOS apps for Apple Watch

When Apple launches the Apple Watch early next year, it will mark the beginning of a new platform for developers. Thanks to WatchKit, the device will support third party applications, including extensions for current iOS apps and new standalone software.

With this in mind, a couple of graphic artists have created a design concept that reimagines what popular iOS apps would look like with an Apple Watch-style interface. Posted to Behance, the images include concepts for Skype, Instagram, Twitter and more.

Fitbit currently has no plans to integrate with iOS 8 Health app

It looks like Fitbit won’t be sharing data with the new iOS 8 Health app anytime soon. Responding to a question in support forums, a representative for the company said that it “currently has no plans to integrate with HealthKit.”

The rep adds that HealthKit is an interesting new platform that Fitbit will be watching as it matures, as it looks for opportunities to improve the user experience. “But at the moment,” he says, it’s working on “other exciting projects.”

Apple Watch goes on display at Colette boutique in Paris

Several photos have appeared on Instagram and Twitter this morning showing the Apple Watch on display at Colette’s boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. On Monday it was reported that Apple was planning a joint promotional event with the French retailer.

More specifically, Colette is now prominently showcasing various models of the Apple Watch in its high profile windows. It has also updated its website announcing that the boutique is inviting people to come preview the wearable device in a special one-day event.

Apple Watch is headed to Paris for Fashion Week

Apple has teamed up with Colette, the famous Parisian boutique, on a promotional event involving a “one day only experience” on September 30 from 11:00am to 7:00pm local time at the at fashion retailer’s gallery on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, French blog Macplus reported Monday [Google Translate].

At the same time, members of the company’s industrial design team are headed to Paris Fashion Week, vaguely indicating that the company’s wearable device, the Apple Watch, could play a role at the semi-annual clothing trade show.

This is the Apple Watch, Apple’s first foray into wearables

In addition to the new iPhones, Apple’s finally taken the wraps off its highly-anticipated wearable device during the invite-only press event held Tuesday morning at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in its hometown of Cupertino, California.

They’re calling it the Apple Watch and it files as the first truly category-defining product released under Cook’s leadership after Steve Jobs’ passing.