Apple has yet to even confirm that its working on a wearable device, but rumours and reported leaks have suggested that the company may take the fitness tracker approach.
Now, a new report hints that Apple’s so-called iWatch will be able to help protect you against harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Apple may include UV sensors in its wearable device, Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis said in a note to investors obtained by Apple Insider.
These sensors would likely be produced in the Austin, Texas-based Silicon Labs, as the manufacturer just announced a new line of sensors earlier this year. These UV sensors are said to be the industry’s first single-chip digital UV index sensors.
The sensors, according to Silicon Labs, can also monitor your heart rate and pulse in addition to detecting gestures and proximity. Curtis writes that since these sensors measure UV exposure, embedding them in wearable devices could help brands make their product stand apart from the rest.
If Apple does decide to include UV-detecting sensors in its long-rumoured iWatch, it would be one of the few smart wristbands to offer such functionality. Netamo’s June bracelet, which was unveiled at this year’s CES, is capable of measuring sun exposure and providing advice to help you protect your skin.
Most smart bracelets and wristbands, however, come with sensors for detecting how many calories you’ve burned and how far you’ve walked, but can’t offer input on whether or not you’re catching too many rays.
Curtis believes that Apple could ship as many 10 million iWatches if the company releases its wearable gadget by the end of 2014, according to Apple Insider. Taiwan-based publication DigiTimes, which has a so-so track record with Apple rumours, claims that the iWatch will debut in the third quarter of 2014, but it’s important to note that its predictions aren’t always correct. In 2011 the website reported that Apple’s next-generation iPhone, believed to be the iPhone 5 at the time, would feature a curved glass display.
It’s unclear exactly what we’ll see from Apple’s much-rumoured smartwatch, but signs seem to be pointing toward an emphasis on health and fitness. In January Apple poached Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence, which was working on a patch that would constantly monitor your blood. Apple also poached Ravi Narasimhan of Vital Connect, a company that makes wearable biosensors, around the same time period.