WSJ: Apple planning multiple iWatch models with as many as 10 health-related sensors

iWatch concept: Espen Oxholm

iWatch concept: Espen Oxholm

The Wall Street Journal has published a new report claiming that Apple’s upcoming entry to the smartwatch market will sport ten or more sensors for collecting health data. The report also claims that the company is working on multiple versions for the wearable device, which is expected to be released later this year.

The iWatch is expected to be a health-focused device and will likely work with Apple’s new Health application, which it debuted earlier this month at its Worldwide Developer Conference. The application and its associated framework, called HealthKit, already have built-in support for certain types of devices without the need for a third-party application.

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Reuters: iWatch to hit in October with wireless charging, 2.5-inch screen, pulse sensor

One of many iWatch concepts.

Reuters is out with a report today that claims the iWatch is going into production this month for a launch in October. The device is reportedly expecting to hit 50 million units produced in its first year.

The source said Apple expects to ship 50 million units within the first year of the product’s release, although these types of initial estimates can be subject to change. The watch is currently in trial production at Quanta, which will be the main manufacturer, accounting for at least 70 percent of final assembly, the source said.

Seeing that Apple sold 71 million iPads in the entirety of 2013, 50 million units sounds aggressive. The site also shares some features that it has learned about the device:

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iPhone 6 likely to sport barometer/air pressure sensors to measure altitude, weather

altittude

Besides a larger display and redesigned metal body, details regarding which features the next-generation iPhone models will pack have been light. However, it appears that the new models could include a new sensor: a barometer.

A barometer is a sensor commonly used for measuring altitude and the sensor is already commonly found in Android devices such as the Galaxy Nexus. A barometer sensor could be used by hikers, mountain climbers, bike riders, and enthusiasts who want accurate knowledge into their current altitude. Barometers, via air pressure data, also measure temperature and weather information.

The information regarding the next-generation iPhone likely including this sensor comes via Xcode 6 and iOS 8, the latest iPhone software development kit and operating system. The software includes updated CoreMotion APIs that clearly reference the new altitude measuring capabilities:

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Photos: Purported physical mockups for new iPad Air show recessed volume rocker & Touch ID

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Somewhat unsurprisingly, photos of physical mockups (dummy units) purportedly representing the next-generation full-sized iPad Air have surfaced. This comes after several weeks of iPhone 6 dummy shots that solely differ by camera angles. These units are generally created by case makers, so they may have some inaccuracies. Nonetheless, here’s what whoever made these physical mockups is expecting based on whatever information they obtained from the Apple supply chain. As you can see in the image above, the next Air appears to be nearly identical in design to the current Air. More images below:

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iOS 8 builds in the technologies Apple needs for an iWatch

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iOS 8 adds several important enhancements to the iPhone and iPad, such as improved notifications, health-tracking, and a more advanced camera application, but the new operating system’s most significant feature may be the groundwork technologies for a future Apple wearable device that integrates deeply with the iPhone.

No matter if it is called the “iWatch,” “iBand,” “iPod,” or something else entirely, a wrist-worn Apple wearable device will likely be announced in October, and the software it will run will set the scope of its capabilities. Besides the new functionality for the iPhone and iPad, iOS 8 includes many new wireless protocols, applications, and features that open the door to several capabilities for a wearable device.

Let’s take a look at how each major iOS 8 feature plays directly into Apple’s ambitions for a wearable computer, below.

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