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Future Versions of Apple Watch to Include Additional Sensors, 'Richer Health Features'
Observers say there is little evidence for now that the device's fitness capabilities surpass the competition. Others, hoping for groundbreaking health features from a company whose Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook spoke of how sensors are "set to explode," were left wondering what's in store for the product.Apple Watch rumors had initially suggested the device would come with more than 10 sensors to track various health and fitness metrics, with Apple aiming to go beyond the fitness tracking capabilities of smart watches currently on the market.
Two people familiar with Apple's plans told Reuters the company is planning to unveil richer health features and additional sensors in later versions, the first iteration not hitting the market until early 2015.
Early speculation about the device was linked to the Health app and Apple's health-related hires, with rumors pointing towards features like sleep tracking, glucose monitoring, and hydration tracking, but those functions did not make it into the device.
Instead, Apple's Watch measures fitness activity through the use of Wi-Fi and GPS (via the iPhone), an accelerometer, and a heart rate sensor, which is built into the back of the device. Data derived from the Watch is displayed in two separate fitness apps that will be included with the device, both of which aim to encourage users to increase their activity levels.
Apple Watch's inability to measure metrics beyond movement and heart rate put it on par with many other fitness devices on the market, but the Watch also includes several other distinguishing features like deep connectivity with the iPhone, Apple Pay support, and unique input methods with the Digital Crown and Taptic Engine.
Apple has not yet announced a specific release date for the Apple Watch, but says the device will be available starting in early 2015. Pricing for the Watch is expected to start at $349.