2014 was a year full of tech milestones, with Apple announcing its first smartwatch and Amazon releasing a phone – and this was the year that Huawei officially entered the wearable space, with the launch of the Huawei Talkband B1: a wearable that combined a Bluetooth headset with the fitness and health features of a smart band.
Across the sector, this was the start of a 10-year arms (well, wrist) race to define the concept of what a ‘wearable’ really is, and what this tech could and should be capable of delivering. And the breakthroughs have come thick and fast ever since.
In 2016, Huawei unveiled version 1.0 of its HUAWEI TruSeen heart rate sensor technology, which has since evolved to go well beyond merely monitoring the wearers’ heart rate. The latest iteration of TruSeen can now deliver SpO2 and ECG measurements bringing accuracy improvements while increasing the ability to be used for serious health checks and research.
TruSeen was soon followed by Huawei’s TruSportTM, TruSleepTM and TruRelaxTM platforms, to enhance what Huawei smartwatches could do when keeping tabs on your exercise, sleep and the more stressful parts of your day.
At their essence, smartwatches are communication tools – designed to keep you connected even when you’re away from your smartphone – and in 2017 Huawei introduced eSIM on the Huawei Watch 2 to facilitate exactly that level of functionality.
By 2021 Huawei had set its sights on revolutionising wrist-based health monitoring capability. The Huawei Watch D, launched that year, is a smartwatch that delivers cuff-free blood pressure monitoring along with medical-grade ECG readings – something no other smartwatch can do, particularly supplying blood pressure data without calibration.
And now Huawei is about to reveal how its smartwatch range has continued to evolve. On 14 September 2023, Huawei will launch its next wearable product, and announce a vision for another decade of innovation.
Some heavy hints have already been dropped by Huawei on social media, and judging by that teaser – which revealed a couple of different bezels – two new smartwatches are looming on the horizon. The Fashion forward slogan also seems to be a clear nod that we can expect design to be at the heart of Huawei’s big reveal.
Less than 10 years after the release of its first wearable, Huawei appears to have a smartwatch for everyone. In 2023, we’ve already seen the Huawei Watch 4 and Watch 4 Pro for those that crave the best of Huawei’s smartwatch features. It wrapped up features like a spherical, sapphire LTPO AMOLED touchscreen, eSim technology and the ability to glance at multiple health metrics at one time inside of aerospace-grade titanium.
The Huawei Watch Ultimate, a smartwatch fit for divers, showcased Huawei’s ability to take premium materials like ceramic and liquid metal to create a smartwatch you’d proudly show off underneath your shirt sleeve as well as under the waves.
The equally handsome Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro comes in titanium and ceramic case options, while the Huawei Watch GT Cyber will let you change watch cases to better match it up with your look.
So, beyond a stylish exterior, what could be in store for us on the software front from the new smartwatches? Judging from the pace of innovation in the past, our expectations are pretty high.
Besides the breakthrough in blood pressure monitoring that came with the Huawei Watch D, we’ve also seen the launch of the Huawei Watch Buds – truly wireless earbuds for smartwatches. Huawei has also built a running watch with floating external antennas to give athletes much-improved data accuracy, and designed a kids smartwatch with rotating dual screens.
Beyond the wrist, Huawei has also been flexing its innovative muscles with its Huawei Health companion smartphone app, which not only enables you to look deeper into your exercise and recovery stats, but also supplies recommendations on how to enjoy better quality sleep. Furthermore, you can find your first personalised half marathon training plan, understand when and why you’re getting stressed and let you share stats with popular apps like Strava.
And then there’s Huawei’s Health research platform, which explores what wearables can be capable of in the realm of health monitoring and the possibility that smartwatches could be used to prevent chronic diseases.
Huawei’s research apps already include over 200 health studies covering everything from heart health and respiratory well-being to blood glucose management in China, with international studies planned. This platform has over 13 million participants in research studies currently and is working with over 110 research institutes to make sure its wearables can offer truly life-changing smarts.
Huawei has taken the research in-house too, with 10 research institutes already in existence in China. To bolster its fitness and health expertise, it has three health laboratories with more labs to open in Europe before the end of 2023. The extensive research and studies Huawei are conducting focus on health issues like atrial fibrillation and hypertension, and have been recognised by leading medical journals.
Huawei is already looking closer at how it can track ovarian health, emotional health and is taking the blood pressure monitoring into the exercise monitoring realm too, as it pushes to take different and more unique approaches to tracking health. TruSeen 5.5+ is coming, and this will look to boost things on the health and wellness monitoring front further.
Already the company has shipped over 130 million Huawei smartwatches globally, while over 100 million users log into the Huawei Health app. It’s applied for over 800 patents and already makes smartwatches for those that care about adventure, heart health or you just want a stylish connected timepiece to own. Clearly, ten years into its journey, Huawei is determined to be integral to pushing the frontiers of the wearables world.