Addicted to your fitness tracker? We’ve got good news. Today, Apple unveiled their latest innovation: The Apple Watch. And it might just revolutionize the way you work out.
Coupled with announcements of Apple Pay and the much-anticipated iPhone 6, the Apple Watch was touted as a “comprehensive health and fitness device” with the power of a fitness tracker, iPhone and sports watch combined in one.
Priced starting at $349, the device requires users to also own an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 or 6 plus. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook promised the new tricked out wristwatch will be available for purchase early next year, and will be “worth the wait,” so you may want to start saving your pennies.
Apple Watch: Making Workouts Count?
In the meantime, here’s an overview of what the watch promises to offer to Apple-addicted exercisers everywhere.
1. Fitness tracking capabilities
The new Apple Watch may make even your favorite tracker look passé, by providing a more comprehensive view of your daily activities than seen in most devices.
According to Apple’s in-house fitness expert Jay Blahnik (who previously consulted with Nike on the development of the Nike+ FuelBand), the Apple Watch’s Activity app will utilize an accelerometer to measure total body movement, a custom sensor to track heart rate and determine the intensity of your workouts, and GPS to measure the distance you’ve covered in a day.
You’ll also be challenged to get moving more often, and with more purpose using the device’s unique Move, Exercise and Stand ring graphics. Each day, the rings on your watch’s screen will start out empty. As you achieve various goals throughout the day, the rings will fill up and disappear. The Move ring counts the calories you burn, while the Exercise ring challenges you to clock at least 30 minutes of brisk activity each day. And because sitting is the new smoking, the Stand ring makes its way ‘round once you’ve stood for a full minute, during 12 distinct hours of the day.
2. Data that will take workouts to the next level
Whether you’re a weekend gym-goer or a hardcore marathoner, you can use Apple Watch’s Workout app to get detailed feedback on the intensity of your training sessions, according to Blahnik. Users can choose from a range of popular activities, such as running or spinning, and set goals based on the number of calories they want to burn, distance they want to achieve, or length of workout they’d like to log.
After you’ve completed an activity, you can see a summary of your workout and earn badges as awards for your achievements.
Bonus: The gadget also has a maps function, which can guide you along your route using “tactic feedback” (think: vibrations indicating “left” or “right”), which means you don’t even have to look at your watch face to know where you’re going. No more getting lost on long bike rides!
3. A “personal trainer” at the touch of a button
One of the most intriguing aspects of the Apple Watch? The device gets to know you over time, “the way a good personal trainer would,” said Blahnik at Apple’s press conference on Tuesday. That means it can deliver reminders to keep you on track, and suggest personalized, achievable goals based on the workouts you’ve already logged.
The Apple Watch promises to be versatile as well, with six interchangeable straps. The sports bands come in a variety of bright colors, and are made from a tough, sweat- and chemical-resistant material, according to Cook. Sleek bands with a more formal feel are available for you to swap in post-workout as well.
While Apple didn’t necessarily dive headfirst into the fitness tracking space, some might say it’s better late than never. And with users tiring of lower-tech wearables, Apple appears to be pulling out all the stops with a watch that’s putting health and fitness first.
Will you line up to test the Apple Watch when it comes out next year? Tell us what you think in the comments.