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Apple unveils health-tracking watch

Launch event also sees debut of iPhone 6 and Health app

Apple Watch 

Apple tackled the wearable technology health tracking trend on two fronts yesterday with the launch of a watch and the latest version of its iPhone.

In addition to being a conventional timepiece, the Apple Watch will have “comprehensive health and fitness apps that can help people lead healthier lives” and can be paired with an iPhone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

It will come pre-loaded with Apple's Activity and Workout fitness tracking apps and has an accelerometer and built-in heart rate sensor.

The Activity app measures calories burned, brisk activity and how often you stand up during the day, while the Workout app allows users to set goals, and pace themselves, during training sessions. Meanwhile the companion iPhone Fitness app collects all of this activity data in one place.

Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design, said: “With Apple Watch, we've developed multiple technologies and an entirely new user interface specifically for a device that's designed to be worn. It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface.

“We've created an entire range of products that enable unparalleled personalisation.”

The company has launched WatchKit developer tools - just as it did with HealthKit - to allow WatchKit apps to be created and next year developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.

Apple also used its launch event to unveil the latest version of its iPhone, which will bring to users the Health app the company announced in June.

The iPhone 6's new features include a new processor that can gather motion data from the smartphone's accelerometer to continuously measure motion data, even when the device itself is asleep.

The device will also let patients choose to share their health data with healthcare providers through apps such as Mayo Clinic or Epic's MyChart app.

The launch of the Apple Watch - along with Google's Android Wear software for smartwatches - considerably ups the ante in the fitness tracking market, to date led by standalone devices like Jawbone and Fitbit.

But beyond their initial hype smartwatches will have to persuade many consumers to re-adopt the traditional timepieces their mobiles and smartphones have long since made somewhat redundant. Samsung and LG, with the Gear Live and G Watch respectively, begun this process in July and early 2015 will herald a bellweather event when the Apple Watch goes on sale.

10th September 2014

From: Healthcare

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