Details regarding Apple's rumored iWatch are beginning to heat up. The wearable is said to have UV exposure sensors built-in to stand out from the crowd and will reportedly ship in September.
This is quickly shaping up to be the year of the smartwatch. Pebble introduced the Pebble Steel at CES in January that traded in the original's plastic for a stainless steel design. Samsung soon followed by dropping Android from its Gear 2 for the company's own Tizen OS and also announced the Gear Fit, which is designed for fitness enthusiasts and is a hybrid of smartwatch and activity tracker. Google unveiled its Android Wear OS for wearables a few weeks ago and it got the support from familiar faces like LG, Motorola, Qualcomm, and watchmaker Fossil.
If you've been wondering when Apple would enter the growing smartwatch party, the wait shouldn't be too much longer. We could possibly see the device announced at Apple's WWDC 2014, which takes place June 2-6 in San Francisco. Apple may take a similar approach to Google by announcing the device prior to its release to give developers some up-close and personal time with the wearable. DigiTimes is now reporting that FPCB suppliers have delivered samples of flexible circuit boards to Apple that will be used inside the iWatch. The publication's sources also claim that Apple will unveil the iWatch in September, which would seem to indicate the smartwatch would take center stage with Apple's next-generation iPhone 6 announcement.
The iWatch is expected to function like a typical smartwatch but also have a focus on monitoring user's health. Recent leaks of iOS 8 have shown a new app called "Healthbook" that will sync with the iWatch to monitor a user's weight, heart rate, calories burned, sleep activity, skin temperature, and steps counted. It will also reportedly get a standout feature by using built-in UV sensors, according to Barclays' 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 [sic] to OEMs looking to differentiate in a crowded market," said Curtis.
The sensors would allow the iWatch to analyze heart rate, pulse, blood oximetry (the amount of oxygen in the blood), and provide gesture controls. The analyst believes Apple may sell as many as 10 million iWatches in 2014.
For now we'll have to wait and see if Apple will show the world the iWatch at WWDC 2014 or simply unveil it alongside the iPhone 6 and release of iOS 8. We'll be sure to keep you updated with up-to-the-minute iWatch details as they become available.