Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iWatch, the highly talked-about smart watch from the company, may have simpler functionalities than previously thought, according to a new report, which also said that the team working on the project has grown to include more than 200 people.
Many earlier reports depicted the iWatch as a standalone device that would function as a typical smart watch and monitor various health-related aspects for the wearer, such as glucose, blood pressure and hydration levels. But, according to the new report from MobiHealthNews, Apple’s smart watch is likely to be a peripheral device that will depend on connectivity to an iPhone to allow users full functionality. The sources also told the publication that the iWatch is not expected to be a tiny smartphone as some rumors have suggested.
In 2013, Apple hired many professionals with expertise in health and sensor-related areas for the iWatch project, indicating that the device could be built to track a lot of health-oriented aspects. But, the new report said the team that Apple has assembled would focus on making basic health-tracking functions more effective.
The report from MobiHealthNews also said that the existence of the “Healthbook” concept for iOS is true, but the name of the app may not be finalized. Expected to be a repository for all health and fitness information, the app could connect not only with the iWatch, but also with other health-tracking apps and devices on the market.
In addition, the report also speculated that the iWatch is not likely to be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, as it may not have advanced sensors. Apple’s recent meeting with the FDA, according to the report, was only to ensure that the device does not come under the administration's new guidance for mobile medical apps, the report added.
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It is worth mentioning here that MobiHealthNews was the first news website to reveal Apple’s hiring of Michael O'Reilly, the former chief medical officer and executive vice president of medical affairs at California-based Masimo Corporation.
About a year earlier, Bloomberg reported that a team of about 100 product designers at Apple were working on a wristwatch-like device. Now, the MobiHealthNews report in question claims that the project has grown since then and currently includes more than 200 professionals.
As far as the release of the iWatch is concerned, some reports have suggested that Apple could launch the device in late 2014, at a time when the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 are also expected to be released.