iWatch concept (All, Todd Hamilton 001)

According to a new report by Brian Dolan of MobiHealthNews, the rumored Apple wearable device, the iWatch, may have simpler technological capabilities than those high-profile hirings, job adspatents and rumors would have you believe.

Citing unnamed sources with “limited but direct knowledge,” the report claims the iWatch is more of a companion than a standalone device.

In other words, it may require the iPhone for much of its functionality. MobiHealthNews doesn’t have an established track record in terms of Apple rumors so the story should be taken with a grain of salt.

On the other hand, the publication did accurately reveal that Apple hired Michael O’Reilly, former chief medical officer and executive vice president of medical affairs at pulse oximeter firm Masimo Corporation…

The report tempers iWatch expectations by claiming that the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FED) won’t regulate the wrist-worn accessory and the rumored Healthbook app, indicating the device may not include advanced health sensors for glucose sensing and hydration tracking as initially thought.

Apple’s Michael O’Reilly, SVP of Operations Jeff Williams, VP of software and Technology Bud Tribble and government affairs counsel Tim Powderly met with the FDA in December to discuss “mobile medical applications,” as per The New York Times.

That meeting was about remaining unregulated, MobiHealthNews claims:

The meeting with the agency was likely to review the FDA’s recently published final guidance document on mobile medical apps. Keeping the Healthbook app on the right side of FDA regulation means the app won’t be able to offer too much in the way of analysis for medical data.

Next, the author writes that the Healthbook app, which the source said may not be the real name, is Apple’s way of boosting the ecosystem of health app developers and health wearable makers, which sounds about right.

“It will likely evolve into a repository for health and fitness information — and where allowable by the regulators — provide feedback and analysis of that data,” the story notes.

The application is said to focus on exercise, diet, sleep, stress, medication adherence.

It’s also likely it will include “tracking for women’s health and pregnancy tracking features” and perhaps feature certain chronic condition management features by pulling data from third party FDA-cleared medical devices.

“As long as Apple doesn’t analyze the data from a regulated medical device, it can still display it in its app without having to get Healthbook cleared as a Class II medical device,” writes the author.

iWatch concept (Run, Todd Hamilton 001)

Brian’s source is highly skeptical of hydration monitoring via a sensor, describing the health sensing capabilities as “efficacious,” specifically tempering expectations for advanced functions like glucose sensing.

Most importantly, the iWatch is a peripheral device, not a primary one.

The iWatch is also not a primary device, a source says, but a peripheral one. That means it will require connectivity to a smartphone for its full functionality.

While I can imagine embedding cellular into such a device — assuming it has some health sensing capabilities — is likely not possible yet because of power constraints, WiFi-connectivity might mean the device is as much a primary device as most dedicated fitness tracking devices are today.

But will the iWatch be a tiny smartphone on your wrist? Our source says no.

Finally, the story goes on to note that the iWatch team has grown to 200 people, double the 100 engineers on the team as reported by Bloomberg a year ago.

Apple over the past twelve months has been on a hiring spree, luring high-profile executives and engineers from fashion labels, biosensing and medical devices startups, as well as established Silicon Valley giants like Adobe and consumer electronics brands such as Philips.

Cody’s exhaustive list mentions some of the more prominent engineers on the project.

And what are your expectations of the iWatch?

  • Jason Baroni

    Nothing is simpler than a watch. I don’t expect more than a wearable and rounded iPod.

  • JulianZH

    dont really care. wearable is useless to me.

    • Rowan09

      To you but not to everyone. I use the Pebble to track my runs, etc since I’m in training.

      • JulianZH

        i said “TO ME”, so you really think i care what other people like wearable or not?

  • Adnan Mosali

    You know what we should all just realize … the iWatch will be even simpler than this article says, I personally think it will have Nike Running, MAYBE Music app, and a Calendar ….. Just with Apple’s logo on 🙂

    • Guest


    • Litchy

      I don’t agree 🙂
      Apple has a lot to lose right now. People are expecting something new. If they can’t even beat pebble that would be very sad and I don’t believe they would release it 😀

      If they really release a watch I bet it’s a companion kind of like a extra screen that shows different information depending on the app that is running on the iPhone (Music, Maps, Running App,…).
      When not using anything on the phone the watch could show messages and be used to invoke siri etc.

  • felixtaf

    Never felt excited about this… No expectations either..
    No expectations – No disappointments!

  • Tony

    Called this, there’s no way they’ll have all those features in generation 1. There’s a demand and maybe in gen 2 they’ll put more in making two watches at that time.. A companion and a stand alone. Now finally there’s a sign that it will cost around what I had hoped which is 150.00.

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    Of course it’s a companion device! Anyone who thought differently watches too many futuristic movies. It’s gonna be a little higher advanced than the Pebble. Which is to be expected. Maybe the flux capacitor comes in the 2nd version…

  • SimonReidy

    Given the current limitations with battery life and screen technology, I think its only fair to except basic functionality from a generation 1 iWatch.

    Watches are as much about fashion as they are functionality, so hopefully Apple’s focus is on building a simple, but great-looking watch, that accepts standard interchangable straps.

    All I really want are a few basic smart features like screening calls, music control, and custom notifications.

  • Umesh N Umesh

    All we need is a standalone simple wearable device….. No expectations….!!!

  • Dan

    Not surprised, I was skeptical this would be a standalone device, we can’t expect miracles here. I’m curious, but have no expectations.

  • Paul Williams

    I think they’re gonna keep it simple just like this 🙂 at least the first generation iWatches

  • Feby Kristianto

    I don’t care, as long as it’s there I’ll buy the apple logo.. Lol

    • Jason Baroni

      Apple logo, when it’s on an Apple product comes with quality. That is what takes my money hahahaha

      • Feby Kristianto

        Yes, that is what takes my money.. Hahaha

      • Kurt

        as long as you hold it right.

  • Scott

    To answer the headline, I couldn’t care less.

  • Rowan09

    I never expected a standalone device, but I hope it allows heart monitors.

  • illK†Δ

    You can’t say “wearables are stupid” if you’ve never even tried one. I thought they were at first too. I got a pebble and like it a lot. Only problem is the v2.0 is buggy. I hope the “iWatch” looks more like a wristband than a watch. Would get one then.

  • Matthew Cooper

    Its Apple. The iWatch wont be up to speed until its 6th gen. They have to sell us the same thing six times over with just a lil extra each time. Ur kidding if u think it will be fully capable in its 1st gen

  • jack

    I only want to carry 1 device. It’ll be my phone, which is concealed in my pocket, In contrast to watches. So no iWatch/iGlass/iUnderwear for me

    • LP

      Well..I guess Apple will have one less customer in you.
      They’ll only be left with the rest of the world.

  • Jimmy Velletta

    The first generation of anything Apple makes is limited. That’s no surprise here.

  • Franklin Richards

    Don’t mind. I just want Apple to show the world something Apple-esque once more.

  • InactiveUser

    I’d prefer if it works stand alone. Even though I have an iPhone, its easier if I could just have the thing separate, but be compatible with the iPhone – like a Pebble.

  • Cesar D

    I bet it will get jailbroke on the beta face.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Push me notifications, give me a pedometer, let me check the weather, let me use Siri and of course give me a clock. This is all I’d want / need from an iWatch…

  • sosarozay300

    we dont need another expensive step counter

  • HiGhGuY

    No, I’m not disappointed. The reason being that no matter how advanced or simplified it is, I’m just not interested. IMHO, “smart watches” are completely dumb. The screen is too small for any practical use, and I’d rather hold a phone up to my face than my wrist to have a conversation… or just use a traditional Bluetooth device. I’d take a good looking, well built, mechanical skeleton watch with an automatic movement over any so called “smart watch” any day.

  • Serously, let make a poll who of you is wearing a watch? I mean, everyone is looking at their smartphone to get the actual time or not?

  • Shadowelite123

    I feel the iWatch should be simple. I mean its just a watch. I heard so much about the Samsung Galaxy gear being capable of watching movies on it but why would anyone watch a movie on a screen so small. I would expect the iWatch to feature Siri, the ability to read and voice type text messages, some sort of health monitoring, possibly a little camera for maybe FaceTime, check notifications, and do stuff like vibrate when for alarms or stuff like that. the whole wearables need to be incredible and be like a phone, is just dumb. we are in an era where bigger screens are apparently better so why would those same people want to have a small screened phone that you can wear on your wrist. I wouldn’t expect music to be able to be added to the iWatch but i would expect there to be a way to manage music. like skip to next song or pick another song. the camera for FaceTime is even necessary. the iWatch could be as simple as just notifying you that you have a FaceTime call or a phone call.