Foxconn Smartwatch Connects to iPhone, Tracks Health
Hon Hai Precision Industry, a company better known to the world as Foxconn, apparently has a smartwatch in the works that connects wirelessly to the iPhone and acts as a heartbeat and respiration monitor.
Not long ago I wrote about the Firefox OS tablet that Foxconn showcased at Computex 2013. Now, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer made the news again, but this time with an iPhone related device. From the looks of it, every big name in the tech industry is currently working on or has already launched a smartwatch (Apple, Google, Qualcomm, Toshiba, Sony and even Samsung), but Foxconn’s approach is a bit different, and dare I say more useful, as its smartwatch has some additional functionality.
Foxconn’s smartwatch will display alerts for incoming phone calls, as well as Facebook updates, but there’s more to it. The device also tracks the heartbeat and the respiration of the person wearing it, and transmits this data wirelessly to the iPhone.
According to Terry Gou, Chairman of Hon Hai, the smartwatch will do more than just monitor people’s heartbeat and respiration. Foxconn’s wireless communications and medical research departments also intend to implement fingerprint scanning into this smartwatch, so that personal health data is recorded properly.
Precise specs have not been provided, but I assume that by “wireless connection,” Foxconn means Bluetooth, even though NFC would be a far more interesting option. The major downside of NFC is that it couldn’t support the transmission of alerts from the iPhone to the smartwatch. The only ways to pair such a smartwatch exclusively with an iPhone are either to run iOS on it or to develop a companion app that runs exclusively on iOS. Android users should not feel neglected, though. I am sure that health monitoring smartwatches will be developed soon enough for Google’s operating system, too.
After Google Glass and a bunch of smartwatches that either have been launched or will be launched in the next year, it’s safe to say that wearable tech will become a trend. Of course, in time more features will be added to such devices, so social network updates, incoming call alerts and health tracking represent only the beginning.
A thing worth appreciation is that Foxconn decided not to exhibit its smartwatch at a big electronics show or at a widely publicized press conference. Instead, the company presented the device at a shareholders’ meeting, thus revealing how humble it is.