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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's much-rumored iWatch has been depicted as a standalone device able to function as a typical smart watch and monitor everything from glucose to blood pressure, but a new report from Brian Dolan of MobiHealthNews (via NetworkWorld) suggests that the iWatch's actual functionality may be somewhat more simple, with Apple aiming to make the health-tracking experience more accessible to everyone.

In a report that covers existing rumors and predictions for Apple's iWatch, Dolan aggregates known information and adds a few tidbits from his own sources, which he says "have limited but direct knowledge of Apple's plans for the iWatch and Healthbook."

While rumors have indicated the iWatch may be a standalone device able to function without an iPhone, that may not be the case. Poised as a peripheral device, the iWatch may require connectivity to a smartphone for its full functionality.

iwatch-concept-nike.jpg
iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton
Throughout 2013, Apple made a number of health and sensor related hires for its iWatch, indicating the device could potentially track a wide range of health-related functions with advanced sensors, including glucose sensing and hydration levels.

Actual iWatch functionality may be somewhat more simple, however, as many of the hires are said to be focusing on making basic health-tracking functions more effective. Some of the hires' more exotic expertise, in fields like blood and glucose monitoring, may not make it into the iWatch.
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.
Today's report confirms the existence of the Healthbook concept that was detailed in late January, but could not verify the app's rumored name. The app is said to serve as a repository for all health and fitness information and could integrate not only with the iWatch, but other health-tracking apps and devices on the market. It focuses on simple concepts like exercise, diet, sleep, stress, and medication adherence.

Apple's overall focus with the iWatch is said to be on the experience rather than the technology. With the iWatch and its accompanying health-related app, Apple aims to make health tracking "a mass market behavior" by increasing its mass market appeal and moving the concept beyond something that interests just "data-obsessed" people.

The report speculates that Apple's recent FDA meeting may have been about keeping the iWatch unregulated, which would inherently limit its ability to collect and analyze medical data and prevent it from collecting data from regulated medical devices, again pointing to a somewhat more simple device than previous rumors have suggested.

Information on the iWatch remains sketchy, but we may begin to get a clearer picture as we creep nearer to a release date. It is unknown when Apple plans to launch the iWatch, but in the fall alongside iOS 8 is a strong possibility.

Though Brian Dolan does not have an established track record for reporting rumors, he was the first to report on Apple's hiring of former Masimo Chief Medical Officer Michael O'Reilly.

Article Link: New Report Tempers iWatch Expectations, Device May Have 'Simpler' Technological Capabilities
 

Lapidus

macrumors regular
May 14, 2012
201
164
No way it wil work without an iPhone. That thing will be one big battery and the brain will be inside the iPhone.
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
6,151
3,414
long island NY
It should have lot of health related functions, be a mp3 player, and pair with your phone for information feedback and most importantly tell time!

Also i really love those renderings. I would buy one without hesitation if it looked like that.
 

LukasValine

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2013
152
669
The number of people who would buy an iWatch without already owning iPhone is probably very small. iWatch as an accessory to the iPhone doesn't bother me.
 

Gudi

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2013
2,829
1,434
Berlin, Berlin
It's unnecessary to temper expectations. We know a smartwatch can't have smartphone capabilities, because of its much smaller size.
 

CJM

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2005
1,438
837
U.K.
I always thought its reliance on an iPhone-type device was logical. Saves on battery life if it doesn't need high powered radios.
 

CasinoOwl

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2007
98
103
Palm Springs, CA
I keep seeing that same image of a bracelet with a screen. It looks cool, but I wonder if it clouds expectation of what the actual device will be. Time and again, we see speculation of devices that can't actually be made only to be disappointed at the reality.
 

newyorksole

macrumors 601
Apr 2, 2008
4,480
5,274
New York.
Why would anyone be surprised if it had "basic" functionality anyway? Apple's devices never really do anything "over the top". It's always practical, fluid and "cool".
 

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
3,122
3,792
As long as it relays notifications and lets me control basic functions, that's all I care about.
 

proline

macrumors 6502a
Nov 18, 2012
630
1
It's unnecessary to temper expectations. We know a smartwatch can't have smartphone capabilities, because of its much smaller size.
The expectations had been getting quite out of hand. Non-invasive glucose monitoring is not broadly available and would likely be expensive and expose Apple to huge regulatory hassle. Not likely to be included.

This story, on the other hand, is not credible enough to reign in expectations. Apple keeps their employees isolated from the big picture. The guy who designed the M7, for example, had no idea it would go in the iPhone 5S, nor did he know any other features of the 5S. Only a very high level exec could know the complete iWatch feature set, and such a person would not be talking to nobodies like the source of this rumor.
 

markfc

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2006
953
1,868
Prestatyn, Wales, UK
Come on, this is apple. iWatch 1 will just about tell the time. V2 will give us time zones and colours, V3 will bring an adjustable wriststrap while V4 will bring a camera...
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,875
28,970
I hats that render. Looks uncomfortable and how would it work with different wrist sizes?
 

baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,701
2,268
I really like that concept mockup in the article, I'd love it if Apple's device looked like that.

At this time I can't really imagine what the true purpose of the iWatch would be. I mean having a phone and the internet in your pocket is an obvious thing now, but it's hard to imagine what the iWatch has to be. But as always, maybe once it's released, it'll all make sense and we won't be able to live without one?
 

JustinGN

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2013
39
29
While others may bemoan connectivity, I'm the opposite: why add yet another cellular modem into a device? In an ideal world, I think the iPhone should be your communications device (cellular modem/data connections) while other ecosystem devices (tablets, watches, glasses) use low energy wireless (Bluetooth) to connect to it for extra processing power (smaller devices) or external communications (all devices). Tablets and Phones are really the only devices I see benefitting from a cellular modem, really, and the tablet just because it's a highly portable device like the phone (and has the space and battery power for it).

See? Makes sense. It keeps cellular plans to a minimum while allowing maximum functionality.
 

SmileyBlast!

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
654
43
The number of people who would buy an iWatch without already owning iPhone is probably very small. iWatch as an accessory to the iPhone doesn't bother me.
That was my expectation.

It's an ancillary. More handy or convenient than a put away iPad or pocketed iPhone.
 

2IS

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2011
2,938
433
So the iWatch is going to suck... Pretty much what I expected all along anyway.
 

kerrikins

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2012
1,232
469
While rumors have indicated the iWatch may be a standalone device able to function without an iPhone, that may not be the case. Poised as a peripheral device, the iWatch may require connectivity to a smartphone for its full functionality.

What exactly does this mean, though? If it functions just fine if a person goes out for a jog or hiking or whatever and then you connect it to your phone or computer at home to update stuff, great.

But if it requires you to carry both then they're going to be missing out on a big market, IMO. A lot of people are interested in this because they DON'T want to have to carry such a big device or multiple ones.
 

goMac

Contributor
Apr 15, 2004
7,320
1,275
I'm not sure why people are asking for a music player on this. Why? Are you going to be plugging headphones into your watch? What's wrong with your phone?
 
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