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article imageApple's Sept. 12 event may see a new smart watch introduced

By Ken Hanly     Sep 10, 2017 in Technology
Cupertino - Apple is to stage a big event on September 12. While the iPhone will no doubt dominate the event, it is widely expected that Apple will also reveal a new TV and an Apple Watch.
While smart watches have been panned by some critics as not being very useful since smart phones can perform many of the same functions among other reasons, many companies produce them including Fitibit that has a new fitness smartwatch along with Garmin as well. Samsung is also active in the area and is making practical improvements to its watches. Right now companies seem to be implementing practical functions into their watches rather than trying to introduce new innovations.
Wikipedia defines a smart watch as follows: A smartwatch is a computerized wristwatch with functionality that goes beyond timekeeping. While early models can perform basic tasks, such as calculations, translations, and game-playing, 2010s smartwatches are effectively wearable computers. Many run mobile apps, using a mobile operating system. Some smartwatches function as portable media players, with FM radio and playback of digital audio and video files via a Bluetooth or USB headset. Some models, also called 'watch phones', feature full smartphone capability, and have complete functionality of a typical smartphone.[1][2][3]
Smart watches include such functions as schedulers, personal organizers, calculators, and there are various kinds of watch faces. They have the ability to communicate with other devices such as sensors and wireless headsets. The watches may collect information from external sensors and have the ability to control, or obtain data from other electronic devices such as a smart phone. The watch can typically support wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS.
Apple Watch by Apple Inc. incorporates fitness tracking and other health-oriented capabilities, and can integrate with the system for Apple iPhones and other Apple products and services. While it was introduced with considerable fanfare, Apple has not disclosed any sales figures. However it is estimated that Apple shipped over 12 million units in 2015. A veteran of the Swiss watch industry estimated that Apple sold about 20 million watches in 2016 and had about a 50 percent share of the market.
Recently, the Boston Red Sox were accused of stealing pitch signs with the help of an Apple Watch. The Yankees showed authorities of Major League Baseball a video of a Red Sox staffer looking a his Apple watch and then sending a message to players, possibly tipping off players as to what pitch was to be thrown. It is not clear that any rules were broken although it is possible that the action did violate rules about the use of technology. Some joked that at last a use had been found for the Apple Watch.
While the Apple Watch may turn out not to be featured in the September 12 event, Apple has been improving existing models. WatchOS4 was previewed back in June and should be in stores this fall. There are a number of improvements including a simpler method of syncing music to the watch. So far smart watches are not good at storing and transferring music. However, competitors are already improving with Fitbit's Ionic using Pandora, Samsung using Spotify and Android Wear watches having Google Play music. The new Apple Watch also adds GymKit that will enable Apple Watches to sync with some gym equipment. The watch will be able to receive readouts from treadmills, cycles, and some other gym machines on the watch face. The new watch will also have a Siri mode watch face that will provide cards with daily reminders and other information. Wikipedia describes Siri as follows: Siri (pronounced /ˈsɪəri/) is an intelligent personal assistant, part of Apple Inc.'s iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS operating systems. The assistant uses voice queries and a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. The software adapts to users' individual language usages, searches, and preferences, with continuing use. Returned results are individualized. The next Apple Watch may also incorporate LTE Long-Term Evolution (LTE) a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals. This may involve an extra charge of 5 to 10 dollars a month that purchasers may not want to take on. However, the watch perhaps could be marketed as Apple's smallest and most affordable iPhone.
One way in which the Apple Watch could be improved is to have better battery efficiency. It could also switch better between lower-powered modes and higher-powered modes to conserve battery power. The batteries in some competitor's models last longer than that of the Apple Watch. Competitors also have watch face stores where one can choose different faces whereas so far Apple has not done so.
Apple has a website about its September 12 event and there will be a live blog on cnet. The event will take place in Cupertino California at the Steve Jobs Theater.
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