iWatch Release: Apple's 'Wearable to Watch' May Have Little Time or is it Too Late?
By Judith Aparri | April 7, 2014 2:39 PM EST
Apple's iWatch rumors have surfaced since 2011, especially when people believed it is wearable. Speculations soared suggesting Apple has a team of 100 working on the device.
When 2014 arrived and the wearables start to explode, iWatch has not come into life yet and Cupertino is still not giving the specific release date. Will iWatch show up this year, or has it to wait until 2015? Ashleigh Allsopp of Macworld gives us a roundup of rumors, speculations, innovations and the long wait.
The wearable tech market is now exploding with other companies riding on. Pebble, Samsung, LG, Razer, Ellograh, ZTE, Sony and others have unveiled their wearable smart devices. The Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in January was dominated by wearables. Also, Google, Apple's rival, recently announced a preview of its Android wear, which led to the game-changing addition to the wearable department, including Google Now G watch.
Too Late For Apple?
iWatch still has no release date. The question now rings, is it too late for the Cupertino fellow? If it has to launch the iWatch now, it is already way behind the competitor. Analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research thought it has 60 days left to release the iWatch or it will become "irrelevant."
According to Chowdhry, Apple has to come up with something within 60 days, or the project will become a "zombie" when iWatch won't show up.
Apple must make the device exceptional. For it to make waves, it should have new tech that would blow out its rivals. Fortunately, that is what the team in Cupertino intends to do. Rumors suggested it has wireless charging capabilities, curved display and will set the trend for tracking health and fitness forever.
In early 2013, Bloomberg reported Apple hired a team of 100 people busily working on a smartwatch. The team was believed to have grown to 200 people, Brian Dolan of MobiHealthNews said. Workers with backgrounds in medical, sensors and fitness were hired.
Apple reportedly hired a sleep expert from Philips Research, Michael O'Reilly, a chief medical officer at Masimo Corp, a developer from Nike FuelBand, a staff from Accuvein, C8 MediSensors which monitors blood and Senseonics which focuses on monitoring glucose.
Recently, Marcelo Malini Lamego, who is credited in over 70 patents relating to medical sensor and monitoring tech was hired.
Also, Apple hired Nancy Dougherty and Ravi Narashimhan from Sano Intelligence and Vital Connect respectively, reported 9to5Mac. From these two hires, the iWatch team would benefit much of their expertise.
Basis Science, Basis health tracker watch makers are also reportedly in talks with Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google about a potential buyout. If Apple buys Basis, it will have the Basis Science's motion, heart rate, calorie expenditure, skin temperature, perspiration sensors and sleep cycle at its disposal and which can be integrated into iWatch.
Inclusion of New Innovations
New York Times suggested Apple is experimenting with ways to charge the watch battery with the wearer's arm's movement. Reports said Apple's wearable will redefine health and fitness tracking by the inclusion of functionalities that can collect data and give information to the wearer as to how many steps he's taken, calories burned, distance walked and about his blood pressure, heart rate and hydration levels. Also, the iWatch team plans to include the ability to set reminders for medication.
Brian Dolan claimed to have some words from sources with limited but direct knowledge of project iWatch. He learned iWatch will not be a standalone device but will require connectivity with iPhone or iPad to fully work. He believes rumors of apps about exercise, sleep, diet, stress, medication and women's health are true but the rumored "hydration monitoring" may still be a feature to come to light.
Apple is reportedly exploring the tech to aid predict heart attacks.
Siri Will Play a Key Role
March arrived with speculations of Siri to play a key role in iWatch. Apple will open up Siri to developers to allow third-party apps integration. It's been reported Siri was enhanced to carry out more advance functions like booking a hotel and "control" the most relevant app to show in the device small and limited screen. For example, if the wearer is running, Siri will show a fitness app which could help track the workout and move other apps in the background.
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