The new watch features a host of payment and communication apps, but it’s also a potential game-changer among health and fitness trackers. The device includes a built-in heart rate sensor as well as an accelerometer and location-tracker to monitor a wearer’s movement throughout the day.
The watch, which works only with Apple’s newer iPhones (the 5, 5s, 5c and newly unveiled 6 and 6 plus), transmits data to the Apple’s new HealthKit app to aggregate health and fitness data across a series of products and combine it into a single silo. Third-party apps can access that date, with the user’s permission, and the HealthKit product already has buy-in from several large healthcare providers, including Mayo Clinic.
The watch is coming to stores early next year, Cook said today.
Technology blogs have for months been buzzing about Apple’s health-market prospects, with images leaked in March for what was later revealed to be the HealthKit app. Paired with the new Apple Watch, the combination could push many existing fitness trackers out of the market, although its $349 price point has already gotten some jeers on social media.
The heart rate monitor is the only biometric sensor announced on the Apple Watch at this time, and it’s not clear whether Apple passed the technology through the FDA.
Other major technology companies have also added some significant healthcare capabilities to their mobile devices. Samsung (LON:BC94) in February released its line of Gear smartphone-connected watches, which include heart rate sensors and the company’s FDA-cleared S Health app.