Questionable Rumor Points Towards Upcoming 'Smart Bands' For Apple Watch

Apple is working on next-generation Apple Watch bands that will be equipped with new health sensors, according to a questionable report from Czech site Letem Svetem Applem [Google Translate]. Citing an unnamed source, the site says Apple is planning on creating smart bands that include sensors for detecting blood oxygen levels, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

The bands are said to be able to plug into the diagnostic port on the Apple Watch, making them compatible with the current-generation device. Letem Svetem Applem suggests that all of the health monitoring functions above could not be built into the Apple Watch itself, a supposition that may not be accurate.

diagnosticport1
When the diagnostic port was first discovered ahead of the Apple Watch's release, TechCrunch speculated it could be used for smart band accessories with additional sensors or external batteries, but there has thus far been no solid indication that Apple is working on such technology at this point in time.

It continues to be unclear what exactly the diagnostic port is capable of, but based on Apple Watch setups in retail stores and information discovered by third-party band makers, it looks like it's able to be used to charge the Apple Watch and relay data.

There are a number of reasons that Apple might be hesitant to embed multiple sensors in bands, including price concerns and durability issues. Apple would also need to consolidate bands or embed sensors into every band type, something that could be difficult with bands made of widely varied materials.

Letem Svetem Applem has accurately shared information gathered from resellers and other third-party sources in the past, but it does not have a known track record for sharing highly sensitive rumors that could only be sourced from a well-positioned insider within Apple. Because the site does not have a reliable track record, this rumor should be viewed with some skepticism for the time being.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
58 months ago
I also wouldn't say the additional sensors must be put in every band. Its feasible there could be specialised bands with various sensors.
Rating: 10 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

Apple would also need to consolidate bands or embed sensors into every band type, something that could be difficult with bands made of widely varied materials.


Not necessarily. It seems to me that many sensors would only be of interest when you're exercising. Apple made the bands to be easy to swap out, so it seems to me that they could just embed the sensors into a new sports band and be done with it. If someone is wearing the $7000 band, they're probably wearing it to a formal event where their respiratory rate probably won't be of particular concern.
Rating: 6 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago
I wouldn't say this rumour was questionable. It sounds very plausible to me.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

Am I missing something? Apple CLOSED the port. They have no intention of letting us use it at this point in time. Maybe v2 will leave the ports open or something, but I wouldn't get our hopes up for gen1.

Exactly! The port is not user accessible so how can they sell a smart band that is plug and play? Pack in a small flat head? Sure. This rumor would be more credible if it's for the 2nd gen watch.

Apple did close the port, but with a removable cover. Underneath that cover, the port can be accessed. Apple uses it in-store to charge their watches kept on display. A band maker was planning on using the port to charge the watch using battery cells built-in to their band. I haven't been keeping up with their developments so I'm not sure how their project is doing.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago
Makes sense to have a way to expand functionality of first generation watches. I can't imagine an Edition owner (or even most watch owners) is going to want to upgrade every year.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

I also wouldn't say the additional sensors must be put in every band. Its feasible there could be specialised bands with various sensors.

Very feasible indeed, but I wouldn't want to have to switch bands just to wear different sensors. I'd like to have all of them at once, and have the freedom to switch bands and still have the convenience of not having to compromise on which sensor is available and which isn't. But that's just me, at least.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago
I'd just wish they'd make a PRODUCT(RED) sport band!
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago

I wouldn't say this rumour was questionable. It sounds very plausible to me.

And they could quite possibly also have an option for additional battery life incorporated into those bands as well.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago
When was the last time MR reported on something to be "questionable" that turned out to be true? Never?
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
58 months ago
Am I missing something? Apple CLOSED the port. They have no intention of letting us use it at this point in time. Maybe v2 will leave the ports open or something, but I wouldn't get our hopes up for gen1.
Rating: 1 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]