“When the Apple Watch finally hits shelves in April, it’ll be partly up to consumers to demonstrate what the purpose of the device actually is,” Parmy Olson reports for Forbes. “Till now the company has maintained its purpose is simply, broad. Tim Cook said last week that ‘one of the biggest surprises people are going to have when they start using it is the breadth of what it will do.'”
“But in the fledgling stages of the Apple Watch’s development, its purpose was far more narrowly defined. It was meant to be a high-spec tracking device with a big emphasis on health, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter,” Olson reports. “Apple initially experimented with sensors that measured skin conductivity to gauge stress levels, but struggled to get a consistent performance when they were tested on people with dry skin or hairy arms, according to the WSJ.”
“Another issue for Apple was the uncertainty over how such a souped-up health monitoring device would actually be regulated,” Olson reports. “According to the WSJ, the company ‘likely would have needed’ regulatory approval if it were to interpret data that came from blood pressure and blood oxygen sensors to give health advice. But while those features have been mothballed for now, the report adds they may yet be included in future models.”
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