Welcome to another instalment of And Finally, our weekly round up of the biggest web whispers and rumours in wearable tech.
This week we look at a pair of patents from Apple and Google, as well as a new smart speaker from Amazon.
Read on to get yourself up to speed.
Apple patents multi-function bands
While we’re still waiting for the Apple Watch smart straps we were promised back in June 2015, it seems Apple hasn’t stopped trying to redesign its bands. A new patent for ‘multi-function’ straps hints at a new possible direction, where bands like the Milanese Loop would double as a protective case or night stand.
We could see these new bands appear with the Apple Watch 2, which is rumoured to be released in April.
watchOS 2.2 beta lands
Apple released a slew of updates to its major operating systems this week, including a beta of the latest version of watchOS.
The watchOS 2.2 beta isn’t exactly brimming with game changing new features, but does include the ability to pair more than one Apple Watch to your handset at any one time. Maps has also been given a boost with quick navigation options and ‘around me’ recommendations.
Fake Fitbits seized on US streets
The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has confirmed it’s seized 350 fake Fitbits on sale in Philadelphia. While the report didn’t name Fitbit directly, the image released clearly shows the company’s branding.
In a statement the CBP revealed the bands – which appear to be Fitbit Flex knock-offs – could have netted around $35,000.
Slimmed down Amazon Echo incoming
Codenamed “Fox” and set to cost less than its full-sized cousin, the new Echo is small enough to fit in your hand and can be carried away from the mains.
Google patents meds reminding band
Google has been awarded a patent for a wearable device that reminds its user to take their medication when they eat.
As clearly described by the plate of graffiti spaghetti in the diagram above, the patent refers to an array of sensors, including GPS, that keep tabs on the time and the wearer’s location, before using the collective data to create a timely prompt.
Microsoft offers $250 trade-in for Band 2
If you fancy bagging a Microsoft Band 2 then the Redmond-based software giant has an offer for you. The company is offering up to $250 off the price of its band if you trade in your old wearable device.
The $250 only refers to a 38mm Apple Watch stainless steel with Milanese Loop strap, but an older Fitbit will get you $75 off the price of the Band 2 and the original Microsoft Band a handy $35.