One of the challenges with smartwatches, or any other gadget for that matter, is that you can only do so much via software updates. You might be able to add support for new features if the hardware supports it, but if not (like in the case of Asus ZenWatch not getting the Wi-Fi support), there’s not much the manufacturer can do. According to a rumor, Apple is going to add new capabilities to its legacy first-gen watches through “smart bands.”
Allegedly, these bands will be able to attach to your Apple Watch and add a plethora of new sensors, including those for blood oxygen monitoring, respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature.
The rumor has been reported by the website Letem Světem Applem (Czech), which has cited unnamed sources behind the info.
The bands, which are rumored to ship as early as the beginning of 2016, will connect to the watch using the hidden diagnostic port that Apple left in one of the strap attachment grooves. This hidden port, which is right now not accessible to users, is able to transfer data and provide power to the watch. Apparently, it will be able to accommodate the features that the new bands will add to the Apple Watch, and provide an interface for the two to talk to each other.
It should be noted that this is purely a rumor at the moment, until we have credible sources verify it. However, it’s also one of those rumors that have the potential to be true very easily. If you recall, even before the Apple Watch was announced, there were rumors that the Cupertino-based company might provide interchangeable bands in future that will all add different features. Even if that didn’t turn out to be the case back then, it would appear that the Cupertino tech firm might actually be considering it.
This rumor, even if far fetched, also shows an approach for Apple that gives it the edge over major competitors, mainly Android. While Google has made several updates to Android Wear making it better, it still hasn’t adopted an approach that would make hardware improvements.