The Next Generation Of The Apple Watch

Photo: LWYang/Flickr/Creative Commons

Needless to say, Apple Watch had a rough reception when it originally released. It sold fewer units than expected, and we’re guessing that might have had something to do with consumers wisening up to Apple’s game — many preferred to wait for a second generation of the wearable to emerge before opening our wallets. So, what’s next for the tech giant? According to 9to5mac, 2016 could see the introduction of one or two new concepts courtesy of Cupertino, not just the second iteration of Watch, but also that of so-called “smart bands.” Here’s everything we know about Apple’s possible follow-up to its revolutionary wrist device.

Smart bands
The original Apple Watch came with an optical heart rate sensor built right in, extending its usefulness as an all-purpose fitness tracker. Soon, Watch owners will be able to switch out their existing straps for smart bands that may include even more sensors capable of measuring blood oxygen, respiratory rate, blood pressure, or even temperature, if the unnamed sources on Czech tech website Letem Svetwem Applem are to be believed. They would integrate with a user’s Watch over Bluetooth or through the device’s diagnostic port. That could be a relief to early adopters who would rather personalize their existing gadgets than upgrade to a newer model every year.

Third-party accessories
Apple can’t possibly cover all its bases, which is why potential smart band integration could be a lucrative assist for third-party accessory makers. Currently, brands are already looking for ways to leverage the Watch’s diagnostic port — a hidden connector in one of the strap attachment grooves that’s capable of transferring data and power— notes 9to5mac. Some accessories already on the table may include a strap that charges the Watch like any of the now-ubiquitous iPhone battery packs.

New cases
Apple Insider predicts that Apple may soon be shipping cases made of entirely new materials including white gold, titanium, ceramic, carbon fibre, or rubber. (The original device’s Watch Edition was encased in gold and sold for $10,000.) There may even be designer or specialty cases designed by the likes of Rolex and Hublot. This would dramatically boost options for personalization, a key aspect of the Watch’s appeal.

Apple Watch 2

Then, of course, is the Apple Watch 2. The same anonymous tipsters who predicted Apple’s launch of smart bands also noted that the upgrades would not prevent from Apple sticking to its customary annual cycle for hardware launches. Information on the newest model is still limited, but rumours suggest a front-facing FaceTime camera for video calling, improved battery life and a reduced price point for entry models.
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