The first part of the article brought us some very promising predictions, and in the second part of the article we will have even more ambitious and long-awaited news. What else awaits us all in the field of wearable technology this year? More sports smartwatches, new Samsung technologies, the return of AR glasses from various manufacturers and much more.
Let’s see …
11. Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch
Fossil Group usually prepares quite a few Wear OS models, which it then presents throughout the year. Individual models then find themselves in the portfolio of fashion brands such as Michael Kors, Diesel and say Emporio Armani. The year 2020 was also special for Fossil and so we did not get the new generation Fossil Gen 6, but Fossil Gen 5E, which was placed on the market as a cheaper variant of Gen 5.
So we expect this year’s release of the 6th generation of Fossil smartwatches, which could be even better, more sophisticated in software, and we also expect the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100+, which would also extend battery life.
12. We are promised more sports hours
Garmin, Polar, and other manufacturers of predominantly sports watches have perfected the collection of user data fairly well, whether they are running, swimming, climbing, or exercising in the gym. The next logical move would be to make the data more useful. Somehow, the ultimate goal of the manufacturers is for the smartwatch to become the user’s personal trainer. Many manufacturers are already approaching this idea, especially in the field of sports wearable devices, but we are still not where we would like to be. But perhaps 2021 is when Polar, Garmin and others will take even bigger steps in the right direction.
13. Here comes the Fitbit smartwatch for kids
The smartwatch market for kids could be the next big thing for all manufacturers. As it turns out, Fitbit wants to gain a significant advantage over the competition. Fitbit has yet to officially confirm this information, but it is expected to buy the Chinese manufacturer Doki Technologies at the beginning of last year. This one has already made some children’s smartwatches, with 4G technology, video calling and location features.
Fitbit has already introduced two children’s activity meters, Fitbit Ace and Ace 2, but it could do the same in the field of smart watches, similar to Apple, which is adding more and more children’s features to its watches. So Fitbit has already proven that it can develop family-friendly devices, and now may be the time to take this area with a lot of potential even more seriously.
14. Samsung is preparing an ECG and blood pressure measurement for several models of watches
Samsung is thus trying to get closer to Apple by adding an ECG sensor for the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and also on the Galaxy Watch 3. The problem is that the use of these innovations takes time, as they all have to be approved by the competent health organizations. For now, ECG support for Samsung watches is approved in Korea and the US, and in 2021 we expect the list of countries to grow even more.
The same goes for measuring blood pressure. Samsung’s approach at the moment is such that the user must calibrate the watch with a specific blood pressure monitor before the user can measure these numbers without additional devices, just by using the watch. Without a doubt, there are quite a few Samsung users around the world who would use these functionalities, which we believe will become more widely available this year.
15. We will get AirPods Pro 2 soon
Apple’s “true-wireless” Pro headphones are a little over a year old, so we’re pretty sure we’ll get a new model this year. According to Bloomberg and some other media, Apple could change the control system with the Pro 2 model, but we certainly hope that “true-wireless” technology will remain. Now that Apple Fitness + is working, there’s a good chance that Apple will use its headphones to further enhance the user’s workout experience.
16. Google’s return of AR smart glasses
Google was the first of the tech giants to try AR glasses, but failed the most. While Glass glasses still live in a business, office environment, maybe Google could try again in 2021. Adding a lot of weight to these expectations is Google’s purchase of the Canadian “start-up” company North, whose Focals glasses were something completely different from Google’s AR glasses. The second generation of Focals glasses was also not ideal, but it is still considered to be one of the best experiments in the field of AR smart glasses.
Given that North has proven that it can make glasses that work, this could be an opportunity for Google to try again. Apple, Facebook and Samsung are also preparing for their development, but Google has an advantage in this area, as they have the experience and knowledge that a second attempt could succeed better than the first.
17. Fast charging is coming
It’s true that there are smartwatches that last for weeks on a single charge, but just the most popular ones, Apple, Samsung and most other Wear OS models are still limited to a maximum of a few days. The idea of an Apple or Samsung watch charging itself is still a long way off, so until then, the only solution is a quick charge.
Both Fitbit and Oppo have already introduced fast charging for their latest models, giving just 10-15 minutes of charging enough energy for one day. Apple and Samsung, as well as Google’s Wear OS partner Qualcomm, are not yet mature enough to talk about useful fast charging. Maybe 2021 is the final year, when we will also get a really fast charge in the field of smart watches.
18. Wear OS 3.0
In 2017, Android Wear 2.0 for the first time provided a major update to the operating system after the release in 2014. In the three years since then, Google has tried to do more in the field of smartwatches, but Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and others have overtaken it more stable software updates.
Given that Google partners like Mobvoi themselves are experimenting with smartwatches that stop using Google software, and in addition, say Oppo and Fossil are both already developing software on their own, Google will be forced to keep these brands if it wants to maintain a vision of Google’s smartwatch in life.
19. “Off-line” synchronization of Spotify on the Apple Watch smartwatch
We got the Spotify Apple Watch app and this one impressed us. It even lets you listen to music and podcasts over LTE and Wi-Fi. What Spotify Premium users and owners of the Apple Watch really want, however, is the ability to “off-line” playlist synchronization.
Currently, the featured feature is only available on Samsung Galaxy Watch and Garmin watches. Given that streaming support has recently been added, we seem to be slowly approaching the point where Apple Watch users will finally be able to sync their playlists in “off-line” mode.
20. Facebook AR glasses
The year 2020 has long been marked as a big year for AR glasses – and a year to get Apple’s AR glasses as well. Of course, none of this happened. According to several technology media, the year 2021 is again a “big year” for AR glasses, Apple is finally expected to take a step forward, and another technology giant, Facebook, is ready. Zuckerberg has already announced that it will release Ray-Ban AR glasses in cooperation with the luxury brand Luxottica. What can we expect? It’s hard to say, but definitely something in terms of glasses that help users find lost items and navigate the surroundings.
21. Amazon’s next move in wearable technology
Amazon entered the wearable technology market in 2019 with a smart ring, smart glasses and wearable headphones. The Echo Loop ring doesn’t seem to be going to last, while the Echo Frame glasses will be between us for a while. The Echo Buds headphones are improving, and in 2020 Amazon also introduced us to the Halo, a wearable bracelet that listens to our desires.
Bezos and the team are very clear that they want their share of the wearable technology market cake. So where will Amazon focus its development in 2021? We’re pretty sure we can expect Echo Buds headphones and maybe a Halo bracelet loan.
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