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📰 Top Stories We’re Reading This Week
🥽 French startup Lynx set to announce its hybrid AR/VR headset this week in SF
⌚ Polar's H9 strap offers guided heart rate training on a budget
⌚ Oppo leak claims new smartwatch will have square display and ECG
🎮 Ready guest one: Atari-themed hotel deal punctuates the gaming pioneer’s turnaround
💸 Latest Investment Trends
📊 Tech Stats of the Week
📸 Snapshots of the Week
Let’s jump right into the insights and upside for all of these top stories
🎮 AR/VR/Video Sports News
🥽 French startup Lynx set to announce its hybrid AR/VR headset this week in SF
Next week the CEO of Lynx Stan Larroque is set to announce the world’s first standalone AR/VR headset at the WEST Photonic conference in San Francisco. There is very little information that we know about this particular announcement. However this is an important news as the industry is moving towards hybrid AR/VR headsets.
The company from France is a bit of a mystery. They have revealed that they have somewhere between 11 and 50 employees. This doesn’t mean too much, as any educated child could ballpark that same number for a growing company. As for the employees they have brought on board, there’s a few hints via LinkedIn. Marc Piuzzi, who spent two years at StarVR, is on the team StarVR was anticipated to bring a massive FoV headset to the VR consumers before mysteriously disappearing back in 2018. Piuzzi joined the Lynx team back in June of 2019 according to his profile. From some buzz gathered and observations made, you’ll come to know that the AR side of the headset comes through high-quality passthrough cameras on the exterior of the headset. With that being said, the CEO is anticipating the time at the launch where they can “explain carefully how we overcame some challenges and some technical points.”
If you are wanting to see the event live, you can watch the live stream on the SPIE Photonics website at 5:30 EST on February 3rd.
⬆️ The Upside: We believe this is an important news. As we noted before the AR/VR space is set to merge. In our view the whole debate about AR vs VR is irrelevant. Facebook CEO Zuckerberg has made no secret of his plan to offer hybrid AR/VR headset in the future. This is why Lynx’s upcoming standalone hybrid AR/VR headset will be a paradigm shift in the industry. According to our sources, LYNX is a company to watch. More on that soon..
🚑 Wearables, Health, Nutrition News
⌚ Polar's H9 strap offers guided heart rate training on a budget | Via: Wareable
Polar has launched its new H9 heart rate chest strap, for those stepping up their training for in 2020. The Polar H9 joins the existing H10 and OH1+, offering ANT+, Bluetooth and 5KHz connectivity, so it will pair to pretty much all running watches, phones and even smartwatches. The Polar H9 is $59.99, so it undercuts the $89.99 Polar H10 chest strap nicely. ANT+ is pretty widely used in the fitness world, so you might find your gym equipment pairs to it as well. The biggest omission here is a lack of on-board storage, so you can’t head to the hills for a run without your phone and upload the workout when you get back. If you want that, you’ll need to buy the beefier H10 instead. Of course, Polar wants you to use the Polar Beat app which shows real time heart rate and lets you set targets for heart rate zones. There’s also audio feedback as you workout – and analysis when you’re done. There’s the Polar Flow app, which is the company’s workout tracker, and naturally you can pair the H9 into that via Bluetooth. There’s heart rate built into pretty much every wrist wearable now – but some users may still be looking for better accuracy for heart rate tracking.
There’s a bunch of decent features available via the Polar app – and an inviting price point of $59.99. The battery will last a year if you do an hour of working out per day, so there’s minimal charging required.
⬆️ The Upside: We believe that this is a great move by Polar. Why? By offering a low cost version of its Polar HR sensor, it will help the company further gain market share at the low end of the market especially at the college level or pro teams that are budget constraint. Many pro teams today are using the polar sensor. This will also further put pressure on the competition.
⌚ Oppo leak claims new smartwatch will have square display and ECG | Via: Wareable
We've been waiting for news of an Oppo smartwatch for sometime, and now details have leaked on Weibo. The Weibo post - now deleted but spotted by Gizmochina - reveals two important pieces of information about the Oppo smartwatch. It's set to feature a square watch face, much likes the Apple Watch Series 5. And what's more, much like the Series 5, that an ECG monitor will be a headline feature of the new smartwatch. Oppo, better known for its smartphone business these days, has confirmed it's working on wearable projects, and that one of those projects is a smartwatch. This would signal the first time that the company has dabbled in the wearable space and based on its phone successes. The tech giant has been making bigger moves outside of its native China in the past year, selling its slick, high-powered smartphones.
So when will we see this Oppo smartwatch? It could be on for a 2020 launch – so let's hope it's something to really get excited about.
⬆️ The Upside: We believe that entering the smartwatch market would be a good move for Oppo. Oppo is well positioned to disrupt the smartwatch market in China. It will be able to leverage its strong positioning in the Chinese smartwatch market in order to convert a good chunk of its customers into its smartwatch offering. In fact, Oppo is the 2nd largest smartphone vendor in China, behind Vivo, capturing 18% of the Chinese smartphone market as of 2Q19, according to Statista. From a feature standpoint the rumored Oppo smartwatch seems to have descent specs (e.g. ECG..) which will be a key driver to help Oppo compete against Apple there.
Oppo filed a patent for a folding smartwatch
🎮 eSports & Crypto-Currency News
🎮 Ready guest one: Atari-themed hotel deal punctuates the gaming pioneer’s turnaround | Via: Fortune
Atari has put its name on a lot of products beyond video game systems over the years, but its next licensing deal could, literally, be its biggest. The company that arguably started the home video game industry has signed a partnership that will result in eight or more Atari-themed hotels around the U.S., the first of which breaks ground in Phoenix, Ariz. later this year, CEO Fred Chesnais tells Fortune.
An artist rendering of Atari's new hotel concept, the first of which breaks ground in Phoenix, Ariz. later this year. Planned features include arcade bars, fine restaurants, and e-sports studios, which will be able to host and broadcast events to fans via the Internet.
⬆️ The Upside: We believe that this would be a great move for Atari. But Atari won’t be the first there. In fact, Japan is set to announce its first esports hotel next spring. The hotel will be opening in the downtown Nipponbashi district of Osaka, the same city where Capcom and SNK, Japan’s premier fighting game developers and thus the granddaddies of the country’s competitive gaming community, are headquartered.
Picture: eSports hotel concept by Atari
💸 Sports Investment (Fund raising, M&As) Trends — February, 2020
Esports Platform eGoGames Raises $3.3M Series A Investment. Read on here.
ATO-GEAR, a wearable electronics startup for B2C and B2B sports markets closed an investment round with Dutch high-tech venture capital fund Innovation Industries.
📊 Key Tech Sports Stats of The Week
$10B: In the company's Q4 earnings report, Cook highlighted the $10B the 'Wearables, Home & Accessories' category was able to produce, headlined by the Apple Watch and Apple AirPods.
$6.8B: An estimated $6.8B is expected to be bet on Super Bowl LIV. A record 26M Americans, or one in ten adults, are expected to wager on Super Bowl LIV, according to new data released by the American Gaming Association. That is three million more than last year's Super Bowl, according to the survey.
$2M+: 2M people have signed the petition to change the NBA logo so that Kobe Bryant can become the face of the NBA.
317K: According to SuperData, the Oculus Quest is starting to sell almost as well as PSVR, with 317K units sold in 4Q19 Vs 338K units for the PSVR. The bad news: Despite expectations, it still hasn't broke the 1 million sales milestone.
500: After renovating its 2,750-square-foot digital programming studio, ESPN plans to air more than 500 live original shows across its own digital properties as well as other popular platforms including YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.. That is up from more than 400 in 2019, which was double the amount the network aired in 2018.
8: Following his win against Rafael Nadal this weekend, Novak Djokovic has now won a record 8th Australian Open titles.
Picture: Djokovic, Australian Open tennis, 2020
x2.2: Atlanta Braves fans were 2.2x more likely to have an affinity for whiskey than the average MLB fan. Among other top fan bases are the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds, according to Zoomph’s MLB Beverage Report.
📸 The Upside: Snapshots & video of The Week.
Novak Djokovic tears up talking about Kobe Bryant, his mentor and friend. Wearing a jacket that pays tribute to Kobe Bryant, Novak Djokovic describes his sadness about the death of the Los Angeles Lakers legend and breaks down his win vs. Milos Raonic in the 2020 Australian Open Tennis.