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Reports peg multiple iWatch models, plethora of sensors
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Jun 20, 2014, 09:31 AM
 
Apple is working on several different models of the iWatch, which will have 10 or more different health-related sensors, claims the Wall Street Journal. The paper has little more information, but does say that the device could arrive as soon as October, and that Apple is trying to distinguish the product from other smartwatches by making it significantly different from a smartphone. The Journal backs up a Thursday report that Quanta will be the main manufacturer, but says that production will only begin "in two to three months," instead of July.

One of the paper's sources suggests that the different models will likely involve multiple screen sizes, but several sources claim that the watch's specifications are still being finalized. It's forecast that Apple could have between 10 million and 15 million units shipped by the end of 2014.

Contradicting the Journal is Chinese site Laoyaoba, which says that Apple has indeed finalized specifications and is trying to get the product certified as medical hardware by the US Food and Drug Administration. Apple is known to have met with the FDA in December to discuss mobile medical apps.

The site does reiterate that the iWatch will come an array of health sensors, including ones for heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Apple is even said to be working on an in-house sweat analysis sensor, presumably necessary for tracking factors like glucose. It's expected that the iWatch will communicate this data to iOS 8's Health app.
     
pottymouth
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Jun 20, 2014, 11:55 AM
 
Might be handy if it monitored my BAC, but beyond that, meh.

I don't need a watch to nag me about how unhealthy I am.
     
coffeetime
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Jun 20, 2014, 12:40 PM
 
How does it measure glucose level unless it has a slot for the test strip?
     
DiabloConQueso
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Jun 20, 2014, 01:30 PM
 
New developments allow glucose levels to be measured by means other than blood.

http://www.medgadget.com/2011/08/new-sweat-sensors-for-detecting-low-blood-glucose-levels-and-other-conditions.html

More specifically, it may not measure the levels of glucose, but rather indicate whether glucose is high or low depending on changing sweat patterns and the differences in them between various glucose levels.

So, while the watch may not be able to accurately measure your actual glucose level, it may be able to monitor whether your glucose is high, low, or within normal ranges.
     
msuper69
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Jun 20, 2014, 02:13 PM
 
I sure hope the real iWatch isn't a bracelet like some of the guesses.
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coffeetime
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Jun 20, 2014, 04:49 PM
 
@Diablo. Interesting. At least it gives a ball part of the measurement.
     
Gazoobee
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Jun 20, 2014, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
I sure hope the real iWatch isn't a bracelet like some of the guesses.
It's the most likely scenario if they want it to sell to anyone under 50 or so.

I'm guessing that they might do both however. If they do make something closer to a traditional watch, I hope it's something attractive that re-invents the category instead of the mock-ups we've seen that imagine it more like a Pebble steel.. Let's hope it has a round face for starters.

I can't think of a purported new Apple product that worries me more than "iWatch." It seems like they might be headed for a brick wall with this one, as I can't see how it can please anyone who isn't in one of the two (completely different BTW) niche groups that have been clamouring for it. It seems like it either has to be a fitness bracelet, or a "dork watch" and both groups don't want what the other want, while at the same time being so small that neither one, (nor both together) amounts to an actual market of any size.
     
Gazoobee
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Jun 20, 2014, 09:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by DiabloConQueso View Post
New developments allow glucose levels to be measured by means other than blood.

New Sweat Sensors for Detecting Low Blood Glucose Levels and Other Conditions

More specifically, it may not measure the levels of glucose, but rather indicate whether glucose is high or low depending on changing sweat patterns and the differences in them between various glucose levels.

So, while the watch may not be able to accurately measure your actual glucose level, it may be able to monitor whether your glucose is high, low, or within normal ranges.
This would seem a fail if that's how it's going to work. For starters, how about those of us that don't sweat? How about when it's cold even if you do sweat? The whole idea seems very unreliable.

Most of the fitness gear you can buy now claims to measure all kinds of things that it is actually incapable of measuring (calorie intake, hydration, etc.). Let's hope Apple's gear at least toes-the-line in respect to honesty about what it can actually do.
     
DiabloConQueso
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Jun 20, 2014, 11:09 PM
 
People sweat virtually 24/7 -- just not enough to be noticed, or to coalesce into beads or drops of sweat... but enough to be detected by sensors. Your body is constantly producing moisture from the skin just about everywhere on your body -- even when it's cold. Unless you have some rare or semi-rare medical condition or you're in some very, very, very extreme and life-threatening environment, you're sweating.

Besides, with the sweat sensors, it's not measuring beads of condensation dripping from your body. It's using a sub-dermal electrical current to measure moisture within the sweat glands themselves (to put it simply), not catching beads of sweat and becoming "wet."

There is virtually no product in the world that provides access to 100% of all various medical conditions -- for those with some form of anhidrosis (which is a very small percentage), they wouldn't be able to take advantage of the services and information that rely on and are provided by that specific sensor, much like deaf people don't get to take advantage of the auditory features of an iPod or iMac or iPhone.

I think it's premature to call a sensor that "reads sweat" a "fail" -- there's a lot of information that can be garnered from that, it's non-intrusive, and it would fit well into a watch-like device geared toward giving you feedback on and information about your bodily functions.
     
   
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