Apple was always going to get in on the wearable game. Yes, we’ve seen its patent applications for wrist mounted computational devices, but if anything, it’s because a tech field with a focus on style as much as substance is right up Apple’s street. However, it isn’t quite as we thought it would be, as the “iWatch,” is in-fact called the Apple Watch and has some interesting features.
There will be three models of Apple Watch to start with, the standard version, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition. They’ll be available in two alternate sizes, one for men and one for women and with six different strap options to give some stylistic choices for the user. The screen itself can also be heavily customised, showing either a screensaver like image, a watch face – digital or analogue – or other useful information.
Due to the small screen size often found on wearables, Apple has also included a new input method pinch commands, instead offering a small turn dial on the size of the watch which allows you to control the zoom function or scroll through lists without covering the display. The frame itself is made from cold-forged stainless steel, making it durable and less likely to be nicked or chipped.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPpMeRCG1WQ’]
However the screen is still touchable, and tappable apparently, as the new Retina display can tell the difference in force that you put into it, thereby offering a new way to modulate control of certain features. Siri also rears her digital head again, so voice commands should also be possible.
Apple is pushing fitness and activity tracking like all the other smartwatch makers, with a built in heart rate sensor, accelerometer and GPS, giving you location data, pedometer functions and a few other simple fitness metrics to pour over.
A quick look at the marketing site for the Apple Watch shows you that Apple is taking a real stylistic approach to the smartwatch market, which is exactly what it did with the iPhone and iPad when they hit their respective markets. Each of them only really did something that others had done before, but they looked better than the competition and had solid software support through the app store.
The fact that the Watch Edition, the fanciest of the three produced wearables, comes replete with a gold casing should tell you that the same train of thought is in effect. That in some ways however, is a little surprising, since Tim Cook is said to have been entirely in charge of this project, following the death of Steve Jobs in 2011.
The Apple Watch, in all its iterations, is set for release sometime in early 2015, with an entry level price of around $350 (£215). For more information, check out the official site here.
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KitGuru Says: No sign of Apple’s rumoured bloodless glucose level monitoring, though it seems likely future versions may figure it out considering some of Apple’s hires as of late.