Apple is just months away from jumping into the smartwatch game with the release of the first Apple Watch. The company hopes its first new device of the post-Jobs era will be another game changer, but the initial model will be less ambitious than previously planned. The smartwatch's advanced biosensing features have reportedly been scrubbed.
The Apple Watch won't measure blood pressure, heart activity, stress levels, and blood oxygen levels, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Health will be a component, but it’s not going to be everything," Malay Gandhi, managing director of Rock Health, which funds early-stage digital health companies, told BuzzFeed News.
The decision may have been made to avoid regulation by the FDA, according to BuzzFeed.
"Advanced biotracking sensors would have made the Apple Watch less of a multipurpose consumer device and more of a medical device used to diagnose diseases or track chronic conditions — which could have opened the watch up to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
'I don’t think Apple wants to be a health-monitoring device maker,' said Harry Wang, director of health and mobile product research at Parks Associates. 'They do want to leverage their popularity on the iPhone as a device platform, integrating all health data that can be collected for different devices.'"
Still, the Apple Watch will measure body movement, steps, burned calories, and heart rates. That information could be used to suggest when users need to breathe, stretch, or take more steps.
And we can obviously expect more features in later generations.