Those sources suggested that the device could come in multiple versions and sizes, and feature “more than 10 sensors including ones to track health and fitness.” Apple has already unveiled HealthKit, which monitors the user’s health and fitness data via an iOS app; it isn’t a stretch to presume that an “iWatch” would sync in some fashion with that software.
“Apple aims to address an overarching criticism of existing smartwatches that they fail to provide functions significantly different from that of a smartphone,” the Journal added, but actual details about the device’s interface and features remain scarce, despite years of widespread rumors. Some of those rumors have edged into the truly outlandish, such as one from earlier this year that hinted the “iWatch” would charge itself via solar power or arm movement.
If Apple does introduce an “iWatch,” it will face some hefty competition from Google and Samsung, both of which seem determined to dominate the wearable-electronics market in its early innings. In March, Google released Android Wear, which adapts the popular Android OS for small devices such as wristwatches; in addition to fitness apps and maps modified to fit a tiny screen, the software also responds to spoken queries. Motorola, until recently a Google subsidiary, is hard at work on a Moto 360 smartwatch that integrates Google services.
The biggest question, of course, is whether any of these devices will sell in sufficient numbers to justify to hoopla. So far, consumers haven’t clamored for wearable electronics in the same way they have for smartphones or tablets. But if Apple backs an “iWatch” with a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign, it could kick-start a broader interest in attaching very small computers to wrists.
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Image: Todd Hamilton