Should Apple also make a Body Monitoring band that's not a watch?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Piggie, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I do wonder about this.

    If there is a market, actually I'm 100% sure there is, for Apple to make 2 very different devices, and have both of them a success.

    1: Make the watch/wrist computer, as they are currently planning, which gives you the whole device, the body monitoring side of things, AND the physical watch face and apps.

    2: Make a second device, MUCH cheaper, as thin, narrow, light as possible, that's 100% compatible with all the same body monitoring aspects, and apps as the watch, but is just a very thin, flexible, light band, that allows people to wear one, AND also keep the current watch/watches they love to own and wear.

    Let's face it, there is a problem here.
    When you go shopping for a watch, and millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions still do, at any price point from ten dollars to ten thousand dollars plus, they do it, and make their selection based upon price and what they love to wear / be seen to wear.

    Apple are saying, here is one watch, you can all wear the same thing (just in 4 colours and a different strap)

    I'd seriously suggest if Apple did make the two options I suggested.

    1: Do what they are currently going to do.
    2: A VERY plain, thin, lightweight, flexible band that's 100% compatible with everything Apple.

    Then they would solve this biggest problem.

    Those who want to actually wear the Apple watch, can buy the watch.
    Those who want to carry on with their own selection of watch, but also have the benefit of the whole body monitoring side of things, could buy that other product.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    So you're recommending a device just to monitor the body and do nothing else?

    I'm not sure there's a market for that. There are products for runners/athletes, but most if not all have a watch type of component to them, that includes a GPS. Its a vertical market in the sense, that these products are designed for athletes.

    What would be the appeal for apple to produce such a product, how would they differentiate it from the other products and given premium pricing, will people want it?
  3. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    The health band is a niche market and I'm not sure what Apple could do that would get people to pay a premium price for the band. But Nike's CEO did hint that they were working with Apple in the wearables space so I think it's possible that Nike and Apple could be collaborating together on a successor to the fuel band.
  4. Piggie, Dec 26, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014

    Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Well, I guess I'm saying, firstly it will be an official "Apple Device" with all the marketing pluses that go along with that aspect alone.

    Secondly it would exactly mirror all the monitoring aspects the full watch device would do, and of course, likewise be fully integrated, the same way as the watch with all the official Apple apps that take and display data from the "Whole Watch" device.

    It's BIG advantage, is that it then allows those people who steadfastly wish to stick with wearing the watch or watches they current;y wear and love, but also join in the the Apple Wearable/Health monitoring revolution that's about to start for Apple.

    Right now, their choice is simply going to be.

    1: Wear Apples watch and dump the watch you love.
    2: Don't wear anything from Apple on your wrist.

    I'm suggesting a third alternative to those two current harsh options.


    I would be hoping (am suggesting) something even less bulky than the past Nike Band.

    Being Apple, with Apple's known Quality, Brand loyalty, and guaranteed compatibility with all Apple's apps on the health side, I'd think you could manage to hold a fair price point.

    Naturally far far less than the complete watch product, but, as I say above, giving those people who simply wish to continue to enjoy wearing their current wristwear, but also join in with the new revolution coming form Apple.

    As I said above, right now, it's Wear our watch or wear nothing from Apple which is the choice given to current watch lovers.

    And I think a 3rd alternate option would be a positive thing for Apple to consider.

    I suppose I'm thinking something roughly like the FitBit Flex, but an Apple version, that does all the same monitoring their watch does.
    Unless Apple feels they simply cannot compete with an Official Apple version of such a product.

    Or perhaps, they are worried that, something like a Official Apple version of such a product would prove too popular and take sales away from the watch?
  5. Mascots macrumors 68000


    Sep 5, 2009
    So something like a Microsoft Band?

    Right now, I'd say that is ridiculous. But give it a few years and I'd probably change my tune, depending on how the  Watch continues down its roadmap.

    Look at where the iPod ended up in the Nano and shuffle factors. Anything is possible, just not for awhile and assuming the  Watch as we know it does well.
  6. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010

    No Screen,

    Just the thinnest, lightest, most comfortable, most unnoticeable Official Apple product that people can wear, and that is officially 100% compatible with all Apple monitoring data.

    It's just a thought, to give those people a product from Apple they can wear as opposed to their only option being a device from another brand.
  7. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    I think Apple looks at Watch as another platform. They have Mac, iOS and now Watch OS. Sure they can build a fitness band type device that just has lots of sensors to collect data, but Apple's MO isn't really data collection. And how much of a premium could they charge for a device like that? I think eventually if Watch is successful it could morph into a portfolio of products, different types of wearables etc. Let's not forget Apple hired a number of people from the medical field in the past year or so. I'm sure the health and fitness component of Watch is just the beginning for Apple in that space. Are haps there waiting for some of the sensor technology to become more reliable and accurate.
  8. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I think apple or any other company would love to make a device like what you describe, but the technology is not there yet. Something that is so thin and light and unobtrusive so that it can be worn together with another watch -- but it has sensors for collecting body data, and it would need battery to run the sensors, right? So sensors and batteries have bulk and weight. If you want to get notification from apps, you'd need a vibrator, which would also have some bulk and weight. You need a radio for the device to communicate with your phone. I guess Fitbit comes closest to what you envision, but even if Apple came out with a nicer, classier, more fashionable version of that, I don't know that it will be unobtrusive enough to wear along with another watch. Maybe in a few more years, but right now, I don't think its possible.
  9. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I hear what you say, and you may be right that the tech is simply not there yet to make something small enough and good enough.

    The most it would have to do it vibrate, but, thinking about it, your phone would vibrate anyway, so perhaps it does not have to even do that, just silently monitor your stand, but in an "Apple branded" way :)

    I will point out one thing.

    People have two arms :)

    There is no reason why your gorgeous watch you love to wear, can not stay in the place you like it to be today, and some Apple monitor be on your other wrist, as long as it's sleek enough to always be there.

    Whilst going about your normal day, whilst sleeping, whilst swimming, showering, etc, etc.

    As others have said, perhaps my idea will follow.

    I think we all realise there is a BIG problem right now with the people who currently are watch fans, and like their current watches.

    Being forced to wear a watch you don't really like, is going to be short lived before these people take them off and go back to the watches they like, and just carry on with their iPhone as they do not.

    There will be a group that don't wear watches that may start to wear an Apple watch.
    And there may be a group that have a watch now, but prefer the Apple watch.

    But let's not pretend there are challenges that have not existed with other products Apple have made so far for this device.

    It's going to be a harder sell, esp, as I say, as it needs you to carry your iPhone anyway.
  10. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Another possibility I wonder about is if it could be a pendant worn on your neck, instead of a watch.

    In fact, I'm hoping some third party accessory maker would make a lanyard-type thing for the Apple watch.

    I used to wear a watch, but I stopped wearing them when I found I could tell time by pulling my iPhone out of my pocket. And now that I'm considering getting the Apple watch, I remember all the things that were inconvenient about watches -- snagging on sleeves, stretching long-sleeved sweaters, being this extra weight on your arm.

    Basically, I think that the first gen Apple watch is too big, not because I have another watch I don't want to part with, but because I've gotten used to having nothing on my wrist at all. And I'm not 100% sure that the Apple watch as announced provides enough functionality to offset the inconvenience. But I think it's a good start, and hopefully, future models will get thinner and lighter.
  11. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    If I'm honest, I have not worn a watch for probably 10 years now.
    Nowadays there are clocks in almost everything you buy, add to that the fact when you go out, most people carry a phone of some type with them, it's kinda been made redundant.

    Like you, the snagging with cloths on the wrist was always an annoyance for me, and why I'd like a thin watch (despite what people say here that fat watches are in fashion) I don't care what the so called fashion is. A fat watch is just a clunky cumbersome dick waving look at me device IMHO.

    I don't wear anything, watch, bangle, rings... Nothing. I simply don't like having things on my hands/arms.

    Just a personal thing of course, and what you get used to
  12. iBreatheApple macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    I find it comical they consider it a health tracking device when it can do everything my phone does. I have a heart rate app that tracks my pulse with precision. And I can say this because I've tested it side by side with our equipment at work. Throwing in a heart rate sensor doesn't make it a health tracker. My phone counts steps too.
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I don't wear anything, either. And back when I did wear watches, it was the most simple kind, just the analog hands telling time, and nothing too big or thick.

    With the iPhone, every once in a while, I'm standing at a bus or train stop with my hands full, and I want to see the time but I can't pull out my phone. That's about the only time I miss having a watch.

    But aside from telling time, I do sometimes want a device that is small enough to wear on my wrist or hang from my neck so I can just walk out with just that when I'm running out just to go around the corner to pick up some groceries, let's say. And if it did Apple pay without needing the phone, that would be all I need to take with me for a grocery run. That would be really convenient for me, but as we keep saying, the first gen aWatch isn't it.

    Still, the first iPhone wasn't anything I wanted -- what I wanted was more the iPad, which we got a few years after the iPhone. So I have hopes that eventually the aWatch will grow up to be a device I find truly useful.

    And usefulness aside, I'm totally taken with the aWatch's band system. I remember when I used to wear watches, I had to go to the watch store to get a new band installed when the old one fell apart. I think it's great how the aWatch band is switchable by the user. I wish all watches came with bands like that!
  14. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    I must admit, this is something I'm totally unaware of.

    All the watches I have ever owned, from a young child at school, thru to a adult at work, over many many years all used the exact same method of holding the strap to the watch.

    A tiny bar, with a spring inside it, and little "springy" ends.

    You use a fine blade or the smallest screwdriver in your tiny screwdriver set, to press one end in, and the bar pops out and your strap is off the watch.

    Perhaps there are other methods higher end watches use, but that's the only attachment method I've ever seen. Simple as anything, and cheap as anything.

    These things:
  15. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Yes that's it. But nobody I knew dares replace it themselves.
  16. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Really ?

    That's amazing !

    You just push in the end with a fine point of something and it pops out.

    I'd never of thought about getting anyone else to do it as it takes just a moment to do it yourself.
  17. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Well, I know I'm not coordinated enough to do it -- but then I have a physical condition where I don't have good muscle control.

    I don't know why nobody in my family or friends ever did it themselves. Maybe they didn't have the tools to do it, maybe they just didn't want to bother. The thing is, though, that the watch store people never sold us bands and said "here, take it home and put it on yourself." You took your watch to the store, picked out a band, and they put it on for you.

    The thing about Apple's watch band is that it is being marketed as something where users would buy many of them and switch them around whenever they want. And you don't need any tool to do it. Even if, as you say, it is easy to switch out a traditional watch band, you still need something to pop off the band, and I don't know about you, but I don't have anything like that lying around my house.
  18. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    The tip of a Stanley Knife Blade should be idea for popping out a normal strap, but yes, I appreciate, many probably just don't touch things, and will simply pay a jeweller to do it for them.

    Hell would freeze over before I'd pay someone to do that, or change a battery, but hey, that's me :)

    And yes, the Apple system is more user friendly for the normal consumer, I would agree :)
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Never paid them to do it, I go buy the band, and they pop it on as part of the service.

    And no, I don't have a Stanley knife -- I don't even know what that is! :p
  20. Piggie thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
  21. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    I would really like them to but doubt they will. Jawbone has syncing issues with the Health app. (currently using an UP24) Fitbit simply refuses to do it. The other companies have various amounts of success. If Apple would build something with the specs of the upcoming UP3 or Charge HR I would love it. Problem is it's a very crowded space and getting people to pay an Apple premium for a band is going to be tough. The UP3 is going to run $180 so Apple would want somewhere north of $200 just because it says Apple, they simply won't sell enough of them to make a business case for it.
  22. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Yep. That's why I'm surprised some were expecting Apple watch to be a cheap(er) fitness band with sensors. As you say it's a crowded space and it would be tough for Apple to charge much of a premium for a plastic/rubber band. Plus is there anything Apple could offer in this space right now that would be unique? With Watch Apple has the Watch OS platform, S1 SiP chip, taptic engine, digital touch, etc. plus the different combinations of watch cases/bands. Watch is something much more unique and something Apple can charge a premium for.
  23. gorkt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2007
    What I would love would be a running module with a gps, maybe a separate part that snaps on the charger magnet that has it's own battery. That way you could snap it off and recharge it after each run. Maybe an aftermarket company will work on this.
  24. jason.siegel macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2011
    I'm not really sure what Apple would have to gain by doing a pure fitness band. Fitbit, for instance, specializes in fitness bands and watches, which is why you can see in this comparison of all Fitbit wearables that even its smartwatch does not have many "smart" functions. i.e. it's not a competitor of Apple Watch. By straying into the fitness band category, Apple will have to start competing with a lot of wearables like these, which are frankly more health-specialized than anything Apple has the willpower to produce. Right now, the Apple Watch only has three competitors.
  25. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013

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