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Wearables

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Fitbit announces Versa smartwatch and Ace kids wristband, adds female health tracking to the Fitbit app

Fitbit announced two brand-new products today, plus a much-requested additional feature for the Fitbit app. The Fitbit Versa is the company's new flagship smartwatch, something of a replacement for the Ionic. The Ace wristband for kids is essentially a Fitbit Alta for children aged 8+. Plus, for the first time, with an update due in May 2018, the Fitbit app will offer female health features such as period tracking.

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Bose AR audio-only augmented reality platform asks, 'Who needs screens?'

Augmented reality can make for some fantastically impressive tech demos, and the rise of systems like Google's ARCore has started to bring AR to the masses, not requiring hardware any more advanced than the phone you already have. While phone-based AR feels like it has the potential to be quite popular, wearable AR devices have proven to be a tougher sell, and the public backlash against early efforts like Google Glass is still hard to forget.

Still, companies soldier on trying to find a way to make this tech more palatable, and today we're learning about the new Bose AR platform, which earns the distinction of taking an audio-only approach to augmented reality.

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Huawei Watch 3 in development, but it won't be released anytime soon

The original Huawei Watch was one of the best Android Wear devices you could buy in 2015, and it's still a popular watch to this day (mostly for lack of better options). Its successor came out a year ago, but it was a disappointment in almost every regard. The bulkier frame, uninspired sporty design, and small screen made it a downgrade from the original in many respects.

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[Update: Rolling out now] Android Wear v2.9 will add unread notification counter and more

Google just started rolling out Android Wear 2.8 earlier this month, but it's already talking about Wear 2.9. Like the last update, this one isn't making huge changes to the nature of Wear. It does, however, include a few new options for notification counters on your watch face and some changes to the way developers handle complications.

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[Deal Alert] Verizon's discontinued Wear24 smartwatch is down to just $49.99 ($300 off) with coupon code [Update: Deal is done]

Last May, Verizon thought it would be a good idea to start selling a $350 Android Wear smartwatch. Several months later, it discontinued the Wear24, and the leftovers have been popping up at a steep discount ever since. Today, the Wear24 has hit an all-time low price of just $50. That's $300 less than the original price.

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Skagen Falster Android Wear smartwatch now available for $275-295

Earlier this month, Fossil announced new Android Wear-based smartwatches, under its Kate Spade and Skagen brands. Both watches use the same round frame that the Misfit Vapor and Fossil Q Control have, but with different lug styles and bands. Now you can buy the Skagen Falster smartwatch, starting at $275.

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TAG Heuer has an Android Wear watch that costs $200K

TAG Heuer's been showing off a bunch of its watches in Geneva, and one model, in particular, has caught our eye. In addition to the new smaller and cheaper Modular 41 announced yesterday, TAG Heuer has been teasing a diamond-encrusted white gold version of its Modular 45. This Android Wear-powered ostentation can be yours for a mere $200K (190’000 CHF). 

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Blocks modular smartwatch has started shipping to backers after official launch at CES

Remember when dreaming about modular electronics was all the rage? Even Google got caught up in the fantasy for a little while. Project Ara's notion of a modular smartphone might be dead for now, but there's still a smartwatch with interchangeable components to capture our attention in 2018. Blocks raised $1.6M in a Kickstarter campaign that ended way back in 2015, and there must have been concerns that the product would never make it into production. Some of its backers are thankfully starting to receive their watches now, as the company announces the official launch at CES.

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[Deal Alert] Misfit Vapor is €139.99/£129.50 (30% off) with promo code in the UK, Germany, Italy, and France

We know how much of a tease many of our Deal Alert posts can be for our readers outside the US and Canada, so let's end the year on a more inclusive note, shall we? Misfit is giving folks in the UK, Germany, Italy, and France 30% off of its Vapor smartwatch and other products via a promo code. If you live elsewhere, there's a separate promo code to get the same discount on a more limited set of products.

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Garmin launches the Vivofit 4 fitness tracker with a year of battery life

Garmin has long been associated with GPS navigation, but most people aren't buying standalone GPS units anymore. The company has, however, been branching out to other product categories like wearables. Garmin's Vivofit fitness trackers have been reasonably popular, and there's a new version available today. The Vivofit 4 launches at $79.99. It's a bit more expensive, but the screen is color and it still gets a year of battery life.

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