As the countdown continues to Apple’s highly anticipated Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC, 6/2 in San Francisco), news arrives that will make readers of paler complexion quite happy.
The long-rumored “iWatch” wearable will likely include a UV exposure sensor, according to Barclay’s chip analyst Blayne Curtis: “These chips measure UV exposure to aid those with elevated risk of sunburn or just a general concern about excessive sun exposure, and we believe they may be of appealing to OEMs* looking to differentiate in a crowded market.” So when you wear your fashionable tech to the beach, at least you’ll know when to call it a day.
This sensor is the latest in a string of presumed features for the iWatch, which has apparently been a significant focus for Apple over the past few years. The increasing cultural acceptance of wearables and a rising public enthusiasm for fitness tracking a lifestyle analytics has set the stage for the world’s most iconic technology brand to enter the space. And you can bet when it comes, it’s going to make waves.
Whether the wearable is called iWatch or not, you can bet telling time will be the least of its features. 9to5Mac reports plans for an app currently codenamed “Healthbook” that will function in tandem with the wearable to track fitness (a la Nike’s Fitbit or Jawbone’s Up) and monitor vital body functions, including blood pressure and heart rate. The app would run on iOS 8, an unreleased version of the company’s mobile operating system widely tabbed for release at WWDC.
The real strides forward, however, may come in the form of an advance in hardware: wireless inductive charging. The New York Times reports that Apple has tested both magnetic induction techniques, similar to the Nokia charge plate technology, and embedding a solar-charging layer directly in the “watch” screen. As we gadget users know, anything that cuts down on cords is a winner, and each wireless innovation pushes us a step closer to a cordless world.
But it’s all rumor, right? Technically, the iWatch is rumored until it’s officially announced, as is the case with all products from notoriously tight-lipped Cupertino. If confident reports from The New York Times, Bloomberg and all of our fellow Mac bloggers don’t sway you, how about this: Apple has recently gone on a hiring binge, snapping up experts in the fields of biomedical engineering, sleep science, and high fashion. All these hires, coupled with reputable sources…it’s only a matter of time.
Soon, our wrists will be graced by…something. That maybe looks like this. Or this. For the time being, rest assured that in a few decades we’ll all chuckle and tell our grandkids that, back in our day, there were these annoying things called sunburns.
*Original equipment manufacturers
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