Apple may be working on a new wearable that can be worn on multiple parts of the body and is capable of tracking exercise and serious health data.
The folks at PatentlyApple has spied a patent application from Apple, which talks of a device that communicates to wearable sensors that are capable of monitoring both health and fitness features.
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The system describes a central device, which we imagine could be an iPhone or Apple Watch, that can talk wirelessly to tags that can be worn up and down the body and on clothes possibly via adhesives, magnets, clips and hooks.
Those sensors can work individually or collectively to generate a range of different information including data on posture or sun exposure. There's also talk of the ability to track and analyse activity such as running, cycling, hiking and walking.
On the health monitoring front, the wearable sensors could also deliver information such as blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels and respiration rate.
This kind of setup would require a range of different sensors, with motion, electrocardiogram, temperature and humidity sensors among the type that could be used.
Picture credit: Patently Apple
From the central device, the user will be able to control, configure and update sensors when required and additionally locate where various sensors are placed.
While this is a patent and like with so many patents it doesn't guarantee it's ever going to become a real product, it's not too far fetched to think it could become a reality.
Apple has already launched its AirTag to help keep track of items. We've also already seen examples of wearable tags that can monitor a range of data. In 2018, startup Spire launched its Spire Health Tags, which used adhesive to stick onto clothes and could track data like breathing, stress, heart rate, sleep as well as automatically detect workouts.
Our testing experiences with the Spire Health Tags weren't without its problems, so if Apple is thinking HealthTag after its item-tracking AirTag, we imagine it's going to another level of complexity to try to promise reliable tracking of a range of activities and biometric data mentioned in this patent application.
If anyone can do it and do it right, it's Apple. This could well be the answer to delivering the big health tracking features it seemingly wants to deliver from its smartwatch.