Apple has delved into a new product line unveiling its first wearable device - the Apple Watch - alongside the iPhone 6 range during a keynote address this evening streamed live (albeit with numerous glitches) around the globe.
Within a pretty diverse range of functionality, the smartwatch is said to offer “an intelligent health and fitness companion”, which can not only measure pulse rate but also gives a more complete picture of all-day physical activity by picking up the quality and frequency of movement as well as the quantity.
The Activity app clearly shows time spent moving, exercising and standing, “providing all the motivation you need to sit less, move more, and get some exercise,” says Apple, while there is also a separate Workout app for dedicated cardio sessions. Any data picked up by the watch can then be synced to health apps on the iPhone.
During the two-hour session there was little mention of health, despite rumours flying beforehand that staff from the Mayo Clinic - which is working hand-in-hand with Apple on iPhone’s Health app and HealthKit - would take the stage to help promote healthcare capabilities, which are pegged to include measuring blood pressure and sending out alerts to healthcare professionals should the readings warrant medical attention.
Earlier this year, Apple unveiled plans to revolutionise healthcare with its new operating system iOS 8, which enables apps to communicate with each other, and HealthKit, a platform to centralise data from different types of devices, thus providing “a more comprehensive way” to manage health and fitness.
But details on exactly how the new smartphones and smartwatch launched today fit into Apple's healthcare strategy remain scant.
Apple Watch will be launched early next year with a $349 price tag.