Apple announced at WWDC 2017 that the Apple Watch is running Core Bluetooth, meaning that it will be able to communicate more easily with low energy Bluetooth devices.
These are often devices with specialist capabilities that far outstrip standard fitness tracking. It’s exciting news and we’ve done some research on the three devices that were included in the keynote presentation.
Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor
This is one that we were excited about. When we heard rumors about Tim Cook wearing a glucose monitor we thought there that Apple was going to be unveiling a continuous glucose monitoring device that would be in some way built into the Watch.
While we haven’t seen that, this is still a way of getting continuous glucose monitoring on your Watch.
According to the official website: “The Dexcom G5® Mobile continuous glucose monitoring System is the first completely mobile continuous glucose monitoring system - sending glucose readings to your compatible smart device every five minutes.”
The G5 requires a sensor to be implanted under the skin using a hair-sized needle that the user inserts themselves, then a transmitter sits on top of the sensor and sends glucose information to the Watch.
This is definitely less labor intensive than the usual finger-pricking that is required to measure glucose, and the constant updates are a definite plus.
While we'd love to somehow see a 100% non-invasive solution, the minimally-invasive Dexcom G5 looks like a step in the right direction.
Zepp tennis tracker
The Zepp tennis tracker is a small device that connects to the handle of your tennis racket and measures a list of variables about your swing so that you can improve your game.
According to the Zepp website, it has a couple of different modes:
"In Play Tracking Mode, it measures your power, consistency, intensity, racquet speed, and sweet spot accuracy. It will even show you your game in comparison to some of the greats, so you can see how far away you are from besting Nadal.
"In 3D serve mode, it gives a complex analysis of your swing, showing backswing time, impact time, spin, racquet speed, and ball speed potential.
"It then stitches all of these together to create a 3D replication of your exact serve so you can start racking up those aces. "
It’s unclear what the app is going to look like on the Watch, but we've used it in the past and it's main ability is to show on the smartphone where and how you're hitting the ball each time to give you information on your stroke.
Whether the Apple Watch's internal sensors will be used, or if it's just a real time display, remains to be seen.
We don’t know much about this one. In the keynote speech, it was described as an app that can monitor your surfboard activity.
We’ve searched around and not managed to find any devices that can track surfboard skill. There are plenty of apps out there for surfers but not any that we can find with a name anything near Zensor (if that’s even how it’s spelt).
More to come...
There are already products on the Apple website that connect via Bluetooth so presumably these latest devices are simply the latest to take advantage of these developments in Bluetooth technology. As we learn about more devices we'll let you know.
- Check out our review of the Apple Watch 2