Nokia has announced that its Steel HR hybrid smartwatch will ship in time for the holiday season, almost a year after it was supposed to launch under the Withings moniker.
The watch was first announced in September 2016, but its scheduled launch the following month never happened as Nokia began negotiating its takeover of Withings, which was eventually finalized in June.
Shortly thereafter, Nokia relaunched several Withings products under the Nokia brand, including the Nokia GO and Nokia Steel watches, as well as Nokia BPM+ and Nokia Body+ connected devices.
The Steel HR finally joins the existing line-up and will be available in 36mm and 40mm case sizes. It features a simple and stylish analog watch face with unobtrusive digital meters for tracking heart rate and movement over the course of the day. In addition, the watch features automatic and learned activity tracking for over 10 activities, a comprehensive sleep monitor, and text, call and event alerts.
Nokia says it has also made some software improvements to the smartwatch since its Withings iteration, including an improved heart rate algorithm to ensure more accurate tracking. A design change has also been made that replaces the face with sapphire glass to guarantee up to 50 meter waterproofing.
The Steel HR syncs with the Nokia Health Mate iOS app, costs $179.99, and is available to pre-order from the Nokia website in either black or white.
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Nokia on Tuesday announced that it is halting the development of its $45,000 Ozo virtual reality camera, citing “slower than expected development of the VR market” as the reason behind the company’s rethink.
The news comes at the expense of 310 jobs in the U.S., the U.K., and Finland – the home of Nokia – as the company optimizes its investments in virtual reality and targets faster growth in digital health products and services instead.
In digital media, the slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities. The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customers.
Nokia acquired French health tracking company Withings in 2016 for an estimated $192 million, signaling the company’s long-term investment in the consumer digital health and the Internet of Things sector. Withings completed its rebrand to the Nokia label in June of this year and simultaneously launched two new connected health products under the Nokia brand.
Nokia announced the professional-grade Ozo camera back in 2015, when it cost $60,000 price tag. The 360-degree 3D camera is capable of live streaming, live monitoring and automatic stitching. Disney, UEFA, Sony Pictures and other media companies bought Ozo camera units, and Nokia later dropped the price to $45,000, but sales clearly didn’t warrant continued development.
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