Word has finally dropped that consumers may finally see Apple debut a iWatch in October. During the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that a new watch-like digital wearable will be released this fall. The device will run iOS 8 and pair with the companies iPhone and likely the iPad to collect biometric data into the new HealthKit package.
Leading up to the WWDC, speculation ran wild that not only was a iWatch going to be revealed to the public at the time, it would show a new tie in with NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. The Black Mamba had been seen on the campus in Cupertino having lunch with Apple developers which caused a rumor storm that appeared to go nowhere. With the Los Angeles Lakers star already the spokesman for a competitor to Apple, Bryant was likely just visiting friends for lunch.
It has not been confirmed that the new device coming from Apple will be called a iWatch. The device is expected to primarily focus on the collection of health data. Expected to utilize Nike Fuelband technology, the digital wearable will send data on users daily calorie consumption and blood glucose levels. The device may also read blood oxygen levels and track the wearer’s sleep patterns. The information the wearable collects could revolutionize the care and diagnosis of patients by doctors. While active users may find the data collection a useful tool for fitness, doctors would find the data useful in more extensive care of heart surgery patients during recovery and diabetics may find the ability to track blood sugar simpler.
While an October release is still four months away, application developers will have that time to create software packages to tie into the wearable. The iWatch has the potential to revolutionize the smartwatch industry. Smartphones were on the market when Apple released the iPhone. When the iPhone hit the market, smartphones stood up and took notice. A iWatch may be in line to do the same thing for the digital wearable market.
The speculation coming out of WWDC is that the iWatch will have a round face utilizing a curved touchscreen made with organic light-emitting diodes (OLED). While sharing health data will be one aspect, the device is also expected to tie into the iPhone to display caller id for incoming phone calls and potentially could allow users to receive and make calls from the wearable. This would be similar to features shown during the WWDC keynote showing the ability to answer iPhone calls using OS X Yosemite or an iPad.
A digital wearable from Apple could tie in to the iOS 8 HomeKit package. This would allow users to control home appliances, locks and lights. With the wearable running iOS 8, it would be expected that Siri, Apple’s digital iOS assistant would also be available through the device. If the speculation that came out of WWDC is accurate, Apple could find themselves passing Samsung and the Galaxy line with features that could lure users from the rival.
An October debut of a digital wearable may also hurt Apple. With the information coming out of the WWDC about the potential wearable and the features expected, that gives the competition four months to add new features or create brand new devices to go up against the Apple wearable. The news does lay the groundwork for a large scale tech battle as the holiday shopping season will be starting to build up.
By Carl Auer