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[/image_thumbs]A new report claims that Apple’s rumored upcoming wearable device, dubbed the iWatch, will contain as many as ten sensors for tracking health data.
According to Wall Street Journal sources, over ten sensors will track data including health and fitness. The iPad and iPhone maker has demonstrated an interest in the fitness industry through the unveiling of the Health app last month at the Worldwide Developer Conference. The app collects and compiles user fitness and health data, including heart rate and diet.
The Health app was introduced, but an iOS device that could collect this data was not — which has fueled speculation that Apple is gearing up to take on rivals including Google and Samsung through its own entry into the wearables and fitness industry.
In addition to various sensors, it is believed the iWatch will come with multiple screen sizes. Reports have also suggested that Apple has assembled health, fitness and fashion specialists ahead of the iWatch launch, bringing staff with fashion, design, fitness, engineering and health-related sensor expertise into the iOS fold.
Shipments are estimated to total between 10 and 15 million units by the end of 2014. Reuters reports that Taiwanese manufacturer Quantas has been hired to mass produce the wearable in preparation for launch as early as October.
The publication’s sources say that Apple aims to overcome a criticism of smartwatches currently on the market, which is they do not provide functionality or features far beyond what today’s smartphones already offer.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm would enter “exciting new product categories” this year as some critics have lamented the lack of new, innovative products on show. If Apple does enter the smartwatch category — already containing Pebble, Nike, Google and Samsung to name but a few — it will face stiff competition. Some gadgets on the market focus on measuring physical activity, whereas other watches act as fitness trackers and connect to mobile devices, giving users updates and notifications, and allowing them to access apps.
A new product beyond the Mac, iPhone and iPad ranges, however, is likely to quell criticism, and could prove to be a lucrative revenue stream for the tech giant, as well as tap into a new customer trend.
New research released by Flurry claims that the interest in mobile fitness technology and applications has skyrocketed over the last year. The report says that there has been a 62 percent surge in health and fitness-related iOS apps hosted on the firm’s platform this year, in comparison to growth of 33 percent in the overall iOS app market.