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August 10, 2016

Apple might be working on a standalone health-tracking device

Is there a new piece of health and fitness related hardware in the making at Apple? Raymond Wong, writing for Mashable, seems to think so. He believes Apple under health buff Tim Cook might pursue the health and fitness strategy with even more vigor in the years to come.

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Under Tim Cook, also a well known health buff, Apple has steadily increased its focus on personal health. The Apple Watch, HealthKit, ResearchKit and the announcement of CareKit are all pieces in Apple’s health-driven future. Apple combines the trends of wearables collecting more and more (realtime) information and big data/data analytics. The company is focusing on several types of users and usage: medical researchers, medical professionals and consumers/patients.

Growing health and fitness focus Apple

This fall, Apple wil launch its new mobile operating system iOS10, with several new health and fitness related applications. It is also expected that Apple will launch the third generation of the Apple Watch, also with an even bigger focus on health and fitness for both medical professionals and end users. Now a new rumor from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News reports that Apple has been working on a standalone health-tracking device for the past two years.

The unnamed device can reportedly track heart rates, pulse, blood sugar changes and do this more  accurately than more generic wearables. It may also make use of pressure-sensitive technology along the lines of 3D Touch, the pressure-sensitive technology that Apple uses in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, launched in the fall of 2015.

Smart scale

According to the report by Economic Daily (Taiwan), the product is far from finished. The company is looking for appropriate component suppliers and manufacturers to potentially realize the product for launch sometime in 2017. Wong states it’s difficult to guess the form factor, but it might be a smart scale instead of another wearable like the Apple Watch.

It’s not hard to imagine an Apple smart scale with a pressure-sensitive glass surface, states Wong, and it would fit perfectly with all the health-tracking features Apple is already offering or going to offer. Apple currently sells Withings’ Body Cardio smart scale at its stores.

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