And finally: Why the Apple Watch won't work for everyone and more

Blips and bits from this week's wearable tech news, events and rumours
Apple Watch won't work for everyone

And Finally is our weekly round-up of rumours and small news stories that didn't quite make the cut on Wareable. It's the home of everything that isn't quite an announcement or launch in wearables. But we still think you should know about it.

Essential reading: Apple Watch tips and tricks

Here, in no particular order, are the most interesting rumblings of the past week.

Apple Watch doesn't get on with tattoos

Apple Watch on a tattooed wrist

The Apple Watch has run into a spot of bother with users who have tattoos on their wrists - particularly ones using darker inks - and those with dark skin.

Read: Apple Watch review and How the Apple Watch let me down

In both instances the smartwatch struggles to recognise it's on a wrist for the passcode security setting and also to take an optical heart rate reading.

Apple has confirmed the light sensor problem - if you're inked and worried about gearing up, the BBC has the full story.

Adidas Go matches Spotify to your workout

It's an idea we've seen floating around for a while - matching tunes to your workout or run, for instance the Keep Beat bra concept. The new adidas go app for iPhone doesn't use your heart's BPM but it does match your energy level, analysed from accelerometer data, to find the perfect music from Spotify's huge catalogue based on your preferences or a local music library.

This is exactly the kind of app we want to see on smartwatches aimed at runners, alongside offline Spotify playback and GPS. Check out our list of the best smartwatches and sports watches with music playback.

Microsoft's emotion tracking smartglasses

Microsoft has been awarded a patent for smartglasses that detect emotions. Yep, filed in 2012, the patent details a system using depth cameras and mics to pick up information about an individual - gestures, eye focus, speech rhythm etc. Then the emotion is analysed and displayed on the smartglasses to the wearer - an interviewer, say, or border control as the WSJ guesses.

Just because the patent exists doesn't mean Microsoft is looking into it. But judging by the annoyingly viral How Old Do I Look? tool and the new teasers into its AR headset HoloLens at Build this week, Microsoft is all about the connected self right now.

Apple Watch Sport costs $84 to make

Apple Watch

Good news for both Apple's shareholders and we suppose, copycats looking to get a slice of smartwatch action. According to IHS Technology, the 38mm Apple Watch Sport - which we reviewed - costs just $84 to make. And sells for $350.

Read this: How we scored the Apple Watch

That's a pretty tidy profit by all accounts but it's worth remembering that the price is a manufacturing price and doesn't take into account those three (or more) years of R&D from Jony Ive and other Apple employees.

If you're interested in the beginnings of the knockoff market, check out our features on wearables in Asia. If the 18-karat Apple Watch Edition is more your scene, here's our account of (almost) buying one.


  • TheWerewolf says:

    "That's a pretty tidy profit by all accounts but it's worth remembering that the price is a manufacturing price and doesn't take into account those three (or more) years of R&D from Jony Ive and other Apple employees."

    Bzzzt. No rationalizing after the punchline.

    More to the point, it's a tired cliche. We can actually guestimate how much the R&D cost. Let's be wildly conservative (remembering that Apple actually has one of the lower R&D budgets of the major tech companies - contrary to what most Apple fans want to believe) and say they had 100 full time people dedicated to the Apple Watch design and prototyping for say.. three years. Let's also say that they averaged out at $80,000/yr. (Remember, they're not all going to be Ives - a lot will be basic coders and designers, illustrators, etc, so that's probably high).

    So, the total cost of R&D is 100*80000*3 or $24M (note - this is HIGHLY unlikely and is probably at least 2x to 5x larger than reality - but let's go with it). 

    Now, the *cheapest* Apple Watch is $350. Cost to make is $85. There's also packaging and shipping.. maybe $5 a unit. So the profit is $260/unit. That means Apple recoups it's *entire* R&D expense after 92,300 units - of the *cheapest* model. I believe they hit that in the first 20 minutes.

    So.. yes, It's a tidy profit by *any* metric.

    • TheWerewolf says:

      BTW, if you want to get pedantic and say 'you didn't include things like operating expenses, the cost of the building, the materials used in the prototypes, fine. DOUBLE the estimate to $48M... that should cover it (and ignores that most of the people will be doing other things as well - Ives, for example, wasn't just working the Apple Watch for the last three years - at least I hope he wasn't).. that's 184,600 watches to see to wipe out the cost. They've sold.. how many?

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