iWatch rumors get fleshed out, focus on sensors, health
Apple's rumored iWatch may be a health-oriented device, as Apple has reportedly begun assembling a team of people with expertise in fitness and body sensor hardware and software. Multiple teams within Apple have been examining existing wearables like the Nike FuelBand, which CEO Tim Cook is known to wear, and the Jawbone Up. Bob Mansfield, Senior Vice President of Technologies, is leading the project, with former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch and senior hardware director James Foster also taking on major roles. This according to Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac:
Beneath the senior executive-level, Apple has assembled a team of both lesser-known and high-profile workers to bring Apple’s “iWatch” to reality. The team works in secrecy in buildings separate from Apple’s main 1 Infinite Loop headquarters.
Lynch's group is apparently made up of former iPod team members, both hardware and software, while chip, sensor, and battery experts make up Foster's team. Both teams, while separate, are apparently working together closely. Also on this project are members of the miniaturization and assembly teams from the original iPhone. Apple also appears to be making a big investment in medical sensors, hiring scientists and executives from several sensor manufacturers for the project. The emphasis for the teams working on sensors seems to be non-invasive methods for things such as blood monitoring.
As for a release date for the iWatch, that's not clear. Back in February, iMore heard Apple was moving ahead with the project but not any firm timeline. Other reports have been all over the calendar. If serious work is still being done on both the software and the hardware, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for Apple to have a device ready in time for a fall launch. We'll most likely see the iWatch, or whatever name Apple settles on, at some point in 2014 at the earliest.
Gurman's post is wide ranging and in depth, give it a complete read and then come back here and tell us what you think - is this health-centric direction the one you want to see Apple go in for the iWatch?