he latest reports surrounding a long-awaited Apple smartwatch, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, reinforce earlier claims that it will be a device focused first and foremost on health and well-being.
The publication’s sources say that the watch will be packed with 10 separate sensors, information that seems to confirm earlier claims that the device is shaping up to being a virtual healthcare professional on the wearer’s wrist rather than an extension of a smartphone’s screen.
In February, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Apple was looking to create a device that can predict a medical emergency and that a team, headed by Tomlinson Holman, was “exploring ways to predict heart attacks by studying the sound blood makes at it flows through arteries.”
Meanwhile in April, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis told investors that the ‘iWatch’ would feature a UV sensor built by US firm Silicon Labs that would help users reduce their risk of sunburn.
Apple has already held meetings with the FDA regarding the device and the Wall Street Journal’s sources say that the reason for this obsession with health is to make sure the ‘iWatch’ is a significantly different product not only from a smartphone but from other smartwatches already on the market or due for launch in the coming months.
It is also the latest in a growing number of publications to claim that the watch will be coming in a number of different sizes, a rumor that has been floating around and gaining traction with tech commentators and analysis since December. But the reason why such claims deserve further consideration is that the Wall Street Journal is one of only three publications (Bloomberg and the New York Times being the other two) with a serious track record for having the scoop on Apple information.
As well as a smartwatch, Apple is tipped to launch two new iPhones this year, one of which will offer a phablet-sized display and is expected to be unveiled alongside the ‘iWatch’ this October.
In terms of new products, 2014 has so far been very quiet for Apple. In April it upgraded the internal specs of its ultralight notebook range — the MacBook Air — and cut their prices. And earlier this month the company also took the wraps off a new entry-level version of its now iconic all-in-one desktop computer, the iMac, which boasts a smaller Intel processor and retails for $200 less than the current base model.