The iWatch Will Not Be An iPhone On Your Wrist

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For the iWatch, many expect Apple to unveil the next big thing, the true successor to the iPhone in the wearable age. But a new report citing “limited by direct knowledge of Apple’s plans for the iWatch” claims that Apple’s wristband will be a much simpler affair, more akin to a Nike Fuelband or a FitBit than the standalone “holy grail” device previous reports have indicated.

According to Brian Dolan of Mobihealthnews, there are over 200 people working on the iWatch, but the device is not a primary device: it tethers to your iPhone, but isn’t a wrist-mounted iPhone.

So what will it be? Largely, a health-tracking device, it sounds like:

A source tells us that the team Apple has assembled is intended to ensure that the health sensing capabilities of the device are efficacious. Some fitness tracking devices available today primarily give users feedback in the form of an arbitrary points system — like Nike Fuel. Apple will likely not do this, but instead focus on real metrics like calories. Having a team with such advanced pedigrees will help ensure Apple’s device is accurate. Don’t expect glucose sensing though.

In other words, the iWatch will measure more than steps, like the Nike Fuelband, but less than a serious medical device, which will allow it to escape FDA regulation. Supposedly, the iWatch will be less about cutting-edge tech than experience, something the current spectrum of fitness trackers desperately lack. Sounds like a good thing to me.

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  • Christopher Martone

    I see all these mock-ups of the iWatch and they look interesting. But, has anyone suggested the idea that this new iWatch will be something that will be worn on the interior side of the wrist? If this iWatch is to have some sort of health-tracking capabilities, wouldn’t that make sense somewhat?

    That way, the back of the watch could be directly on top of the pulse point of the wrist and thus be able to take a good measurement that way. Also, it just seems more ergonomically practical, more natural to have something facing the interior of the wrist — inward, toward your body; I can see tapping on or typing something or swiping across a screen easier that way, and you would not have to turn your wrist as awkwardly to access the device as you would if it were facing outward, away from you.

    Just a thought…

  • efforting

    If the watch was to measure pulse accurately and all the time I believe it would have to sit tightly against the skin while its being measured. I don’t think that would make for a very comfortable to wear wrist device.
    My guess is that there will be place in which you will have to press or touch to get a pulse reading, it won’t be an always active thing.
    I think the real magic is going to be stuff no one has really talked much about yet. Sleep tracking, secure identification to unlock your computer, digital payments, data transfer, music control and home automation (wave your hand to turn off the lights..)
    The apps for it will bring the real innovation.. Real world games of tag have just become more interesting. Creating music just by waving your hands in the air like a conductor.
    Next up for Apple will be the wireless ear piece as seen in the movie “Her”.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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