Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, introduced its very own health-tracking watch last year showing off its squarish design. Now, it looks like the company has ditched that design entirely and will now come with a circular e-paper screen.
A new prototype of the health-tracking watch was recently shown to Antonio Regalado from the MIT Technology Review. Regalado says that the prototype looks like an ordinary brass-colored analog watch that doesn’t appear to have any button. The device is supposed to be used by medical researchers to keep track on how their patients are doing by having fast and easy access to data.
The watch is being developed by Verily, a health company which is also a subsidiary of Alphabet. Verily has already built “more than hundreds” of the device, according to the company’s chief technical officer Brian Otis. Otis was also the one to show Regalado the watch and give out information on some of its technical aspects.
The watch comes with a white circular display that shows a digital time readout. The screen uses e-ink which is able to use less electricity ensuring a long battery life. “If people are going to wear this you can’t charge it every day,” Otis said. “The big push now is low power.” E-ink and e-paper displays are the same technologies being used on Pebble smartwatches and Kindle e-readers, as pointed out by CNET.
Unlike smartwatches and other health trackers, this device isn’t really for consumers. The health-tracking watch is being built with medical researchers in mind. It’s supposed to be used to monitor patients and potentially predict diseases. Verily is planning to use the device for research projects like a Baseline study which might involve 10,000 to 20,000 people for a large scale testing.
The watch comes with a lot of sensors including the outer ring that's capable of measuring a user’s heart electrical rhythm, a heart rate sensor and a motion detector, according to Engadget. There’s no word yet on when it will be released and how much it would sell for.