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Another year, another batch of new devices incoming. This week we got our specs rundown of Louis Vuitton’s next smartwatch, and we also learned about Fitbit’s corporate-focused Inspire and Inspire HR.
Honor’s Watch Magic is also heading to Europe on 23 January, and we found out that Samsung’s more fitness focused Galaxy Watch is coming too. Apple wasn’t out of the news either – it looks like AirPods 2 could have some interesting health tracking features, while Cupertino also applied for a patent for poisonous gas detection on the Apple Watch. Read on for the rest.
Samsung’s next might be called the Galaxy Watch Active
There have been several leaks pointing to a brand new Samsung smartwatch with a fitness focus, one that we’re tentatively referring to as the Galaxy Watch Sport. But now it looks like we have an official name.
Reliable Samsung leaker Max J says the smartwatch is actually called the Samsung Galaxy Active. Active is the brand Samsung uses for the more rugged versions of its Galaxy smartphones. Now that its smartwatch and smartphone lines share the same Galaxy name, this makes perfect sense.
As for when we will see the rotating bezel-less Samsung smartwatch, there’s a good chance it will debut on Samsung’s 20 February event.
Johnson & Johnson announces Afib Apple Watch study
The Apple Watch and its ECG powers may help identify atrial fibrillation (Afib), but how does a wearable and app actually affect care after aFib is identified? That’s what a new study from Johnson & Johnson, Apple and Janssen Pharmaceuticals hopes to figure out.
Specifically, it’ll test a new Johnson & Johnson app. The app will be partnered with Apple Watch’s ECG app and its irregular heart rate notifications to see if all of this information can speed up diagnosis and help people get the right treatment.
The study is a multi-year research project that will launch in late 2019 in the US only. It’ll be a randomized controlled study with participants 65 years old and later.
Nokia canceled its smartwatch project
Nokia has been revived, and it’s been making Android-powered smartphones for a couple of years now. HMD Global, the company in charge of the revival of the Nokia smartphone, was also looking at building some other products.
HMD was developing a Nokia-branded smartwatch. We have no details on what kind of smartwatch it was, but it seems pretty likely that it would have run Wear OS based on Nokia’s current involvement with Android.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a Nokia smartwatch in the future though. The reason for the cancelation was down to HMD wanting to focus all its energy and resources on building up its smartphone portfolio.
Apple settles heart rate lawsuit with Valencell
Back in 2016 Valencell, which provides heart rate tech to companies, filed a patent lawsuit against Apple (and Fitbit). It claimed that Apple infringed on its sensor patents by acquiring data on its technology during development of the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor.
The lawsuit alleged that Apple went to extraordinary lengths to learn about Valencell’s technology, including masking their IP addresses and providing false information to download Valencell’s white papers on sensor technology.
In 2013, Apple met with Valencell executives about its technology. In 2014, Apple received technical devices for testing and analysis. In September 2014, Apple announced the Apple Watch.
Apple and Valencell have now settled the case, though it’s unclear how much the settlement fee is or what else might have been exchanged. Fitbit remains named in the lawsuit.
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