iWatch Rumored to Include UV Light Exposure Sensor

Apple's long-rumored "iWatch" smartwatch may include a UV light exposure sensor provided by Texas-based Silicon Labs, according to a new research note from Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis (via AppleInsider). The digital ultraviolet sensor, which was announced in February, is described by Silicon Labs as "ideal for activity-tracking wrist and arm bands, smart watches and smartphone handsets." In addition to tracking UV sun exposure, the sensor is also said to track heart/pulse rate and blood oximetry levels and provide proximity and gesture control.

Balogh-iwatch

Traditional watch-style iWatch concept based on TRIWA's Havana Nevil Brown watch, by Gábor Balogh

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. To that end, while these products have seen little public hype thus far, we believe SLAB has a win in Apple’s upcoming iWatch (late 2H14 or early 2015).

Past reports have indicated that Apple is preparing to include the ability to monitor a number of health-related metrics in the iWatch such as heart rate, sleep activity, movement, perspiration levels, and skin temperature. Apple is also said to be developing a "Healthbook" app for iOS 8 which would help the iWatch monitor and track health statistics like weight, heart rate, calories and step counts in conjunction with the iPhone.

Over the past year, Apple has also hired a number of health experts in fields related to heart rate monitoring and fitness tracking, including two executives from pulse-oximetry company Masimo and others from C8 MediSensors, a company that develops non-invasive blood monitoring sensors.

While details on the iWatch have been mostly limited, more information on the product is likely to be revealed as the product's release grows closer. It is unknown when Apple plans to release the iWatch itself, but a fall release date alongside iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is likely.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

Ventilatedbrain Avatar
133 months ago
In short order, we'll have a sensor for everything and be scared to do anything.

I disagree man , since I got my jawbone I've been motivated to work out more , eat healthier , sleep better.

People who have tendencies being hypochondriacs are already afraid to do anything already

Edit : one more already wouldn't hurt :P
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FelixDerKater Avatar
133 months ago
In short order, we'll have a sensor for everything and be scared to do anything.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HardRain Avatar
133 months ago
Employers want a sensor to indicate when workers are being lazy. An electric shock is then emitted! :eek:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
133 months ago
I'm still not convinced we're going to see all this in the guise of a watch - I think at least an option of a wrist-band has got to be the way to go. There's already a growing market sector for wrist-based health trackers (Jawbone UP, Fitbits etc) and all of these are designed to be worn independent from a watch. I think for many people an existing watch is just too personal and intimate to be dropped for a health device.

How many people are going to be interested in this device who won't want to stop wearing their £3000 Omega or maybe the watch their father handed down to them? And look at the variety of watch designs available - do we really think Apple can come up with a design that everyone will like? And even if they did, can you imagine if it became as ubiquitous as the iPhone at the height of it's success - nearly everyone you see wearing the same watch? No thanks.

And then there's other factors to consider - if this is going to be a 24hr fitness tracker, lots of people don't like sleeping wearing a watch, but might be able to do so with a more discrete wristband.

I just think if Apple goes down the watch-only route with this, then they're going to lose a lot of potential customers from the start. I think a separate wristband is the way to go, maybe with the option of fitting some sort of optional Apple "watchface" device to it that replicates some of the functions that would otherwise be handled by a connected iPhone etc.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wonderspark Avatar
133 months ago
Whenever I wear a watch, I'm often wearing a long sleeve shirt, and the watch ducks inside the wrist collar. If it's going to measure light, I hope it takes into account that people use things in their own individual ways. My wrist may be exposed to sunlight while driving a car, while 90% of my body is shaded by the car's roof, or I may be wearing a hat / clothes that shades most of my body while the watch is exposed, just as it might be obscured by a long shirt. Perhaps there will be accessory devices, such as iBeacons, that have sensors to increase accuracy for such variables.

I'd guess they've already thought these things through, and have an idea that makes this work for 90% of people, which is how I think most things Apple are intended to work... if it's even something they're really working on. I hope they make something I can use, because I've not worn a watch for the last three years.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iBlazed Avatar
133 months ago
If they can somehow make this thing capable of blood pressure readings, I will buy it immediately. Regular blood pressure reading that automatically sync to healthbook would be incredible for someone like me with hypertension.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)