There have been signs that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is preparing to move into the health and fitness industry in a big way with its rumored iWatch, and now we have another one. 9to5 Mac reports that the company has been testing the device with several professional athletes from the NBA, the NHL and MLB.
Athletes visit Apple
According to the website, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has invited professional athletes to its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. several times over the last several weeks. A source reportedly said Apple asked the athletes to test the fitness capabilities of the upcoming iWatch in rigorous training activities and professional training environments.
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Among those who are said to be working with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) on testing the iWatch are LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant, LA Kings player Dustin Brown, and several other famous professional athletes. The source said there’s also a player for the Boston Red Sox taking part in the iWatch testing. All of the athletes who are taking part have reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement. However, someone apparently saw Bryant at Apple’s headquarters last night when he met with head designer Jony Ive.
Apple’s iWatch to have big health applications
There have been numerous reports that the iWatch will have major uses within the health and fitness industry. If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) really has been testing the device with professional athletes, it illustrates just how serious the company is moving into the industry. Apple showed off its HealthKit API and Health app as part of iOS 8 at WWDC earlier this month, so this device could very likely make full use of them.
Among the functions the iWatch is expected to have is measuring heart rate, calories burned, and the number of steps the wearer has taken. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also been testing advanced sensors on the professional athletes who have been helping with the iWatch. The company is reportedly working on sensors that can read someone’s hydration level, sweat, and even blood pressure.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also hired numerous experts in the area of health sensors and drawn away some of those who worked on Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE)’s FuelBand health and fitness watch. The company has also been said to be working on sleep-related sensors and talking with the Food and Drug Administration to seek approval for the heath-related device. In all, the iWatch could have as many as 10 different sensors, according to a report on Friday.