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11:19 AM
Eric Zeman, InformationWeek
Eric Zeman, InformationWeek
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Apple Preps Multiple Smartwatches

Wearable devices will include sensors to track health and fitness, according to sources.

Apple plans to enter the wearables market with a smartwatch as soon as October. The company may debut more than one such device, which will carry as many as 10 sensors for tracking the wearer's movements and vitals. Apple has lined up manufacturers, and production is expected to kick off in several months.

Wearables may be hot, but none of the devices on store shelves hits all the right marks. Perhaps Apple's wearables will change that. According to unnamed sources cited by The Wall Street Journal, Apple's wrist device will "address an overarching criticism of existing smartwatches that they fail to provide functions significantly different from that of a smartphone."

Many of today's smartwatches, such as the Pebble or Samsung Gear 2, are used as notification centers for nearby smartphones. They alert wearers to incoming messages, calls, email, and calendar appointments. Most can also interact with smartphone-based media players, fitness trackers, and other apps. Without the nearby smartphone, however, a lot of the features vanish. The Journal's sources didn't provide any clarity on just how Apple will solve this problem, but it is encouraging to know it is one of Apple's goals.

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