Apple Chickenfat Ad Suggests That iWatch Will Be Companion Screen to Fitness Devices

Jun 8 2014, 10:42am CDT | by

Shortly after introducing HealthKit at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, Apple released a fitness themed ad to the tune of “Chicken Fat,” the JFK-era ode to phys ed  sung by Robert Preston. In a brisk minute, the ad manages to show six fitness devices made by other companies: the Misfit Shine, Fitbit Aria ScaleWahoo Fitness Blue SC Speed/Cadence SensorWithings Health MateZepp Golf Sensor, and Adidas miCoach Smart Ball. In addition it features a dozen third-party fitness-related apps: WemoMisfit ShineArgusWithingsZepp Golf, Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout AppStrong LiftsTRX ForceSprinttimermiCoach Smart BallWahoo Fitness, and Nike+ Running.

So here’s the question: would Apple really be putting a spotlight on a bunch of devices that it intends to put out of business with its forthcoming iWatch? I don’t think so. Instead, I think that Apple’s emphasis on the number and variety of these third-party fitness-related devices and apps is a way of foregrounding the iWatch’s role as a companion device to all of the products featured. HealthKit itself is meant as a central, secure database for all of a user’s health and fitness-related data. The more different data sources a HealthKit enabled device can integrated with, the higher the potential value of the device to a user.

There is a second, crucial consideration in terms of the extent to which the iWatch is designed to be a replacement for these third-party devices. It is of critical importance that the iWatch be light, sleek and energy efficient in comparison to the clunky smartwatches currently on the market. Why hire executives from Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent to market a brick with a strap? Instead of the requirements that many prognosticators have proposed, with involve larding up the iWatch with as many sensors as possible, I suggest that it will instead offload many more specialized sensors to these types of third-party devices. That way it can conserve its bulk and battery life for its functions as a communications node with other devices (iPhone most prominently) and as a “second screen” not only for the iPhone but for all manner of more specialized devices.

The third point to my argument is that the field of wearables is still young and there are few clear winners. Many of the single-use fitness devices have lost their user’s attention and become “shelfware.” The Pebble smartwatch, being multifunctional has had a better retention track record. By being primarily focused on display and coordination, the iWatch will encourage third-party innovation (rather than punish it) and be well-positioned to benefit from the hits and not be saddled with the misses. By being a platform player and not competing with the specialized device makers too directly, Apple can create more long-term value for the iWatch.

Once clear winners emerge, then Apple can use its cash hoard to buy the winners and fold their tech into the next generations of the iWatch itself. But without fostering a supportive platform for apps and devices that can integrate with the iWatch there may not be enough pressing reasons for Apple users to add a wearable to their implicit “Hardware as a Service” subscription.

Conspicuously absent from the “Chicken Fat” ad is the Nike FuelBand. Reports have circulated that Nike is shutting the project down and yet it just released a new limited edition gold version of its Nike+ FuelBand SE fitness tracker. Considering Apple CEO Time Cook’s cozy relationship with Nike, is it possible that the two companies are planning to co-brand a FuelBand-like device that would be Apple’s own in-house companion to the iWatch? Certainly Nike was prominently featured in the HealthKit portion of the WWDC keynote.

Just one further speculation: what could an iWatch do in combination with a FuelBand or some other third-party fitness device without an iPhone present? So much attention has centered on the iPhone as the central hub of everything, but wouldn’t it be nice to take a run without your phone?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

To keep up with Quantum of Content, please subscribe to my updates on Facebook, follow me on Twitter  or add me on Google+.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

A8 Chip of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Can Handle 4K Videos
A8 Chip of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Can Handle 4K Videos
The WALTR developers find a great function of the A8 processor in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
 
 
$1 Samsung Galaxy S5 Best Buy Black Friday Deal is on Sale Now
$1 Samsung Galaxy S5 Best Buy Black Friday Deal is on Sale Now
The Best Buy Black Friday 2014 Deal on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is live now. You pay $1 on contract for the Samsung Galaxy S5.
 
 
The Best Black Friday iPad Deals
The Best Black Friday iPad Deals
The Apple iPad Black Friday 2014 Deals started to sell.
 
 
Amazon Black Friday 2014 Sale has Started
Amazon Black Friday 2014 Sale has Started
The Amazon Black Friday 2014 sale is officially here. Earlier than ever Amazon offers Black Friday 2014 deals.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Hamilton admits hardly sleeping the night before
Abu Dhabi, Nov 24 (IANS/CMC) Newly crowned Formula 1 World champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed he hardly slept the night before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which he eventually won to clinch his second...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Real Madrid to play in Australian tournament
Melbourne, Nov 24 (IANS) Real Madrid, which boasts the most expensive squad in world football, have been announced as one of three teams to compete in the International Champions Cup in Melbourne in July. The...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Cruzeiro win Brazil Serie A title
Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Nov 24 (IANS) Cruzeiro have clinched their second consecutive Brazilian Serie A title with a 2-1 victory over Goias. Everton Ribeiro struck the winner at the Mineirao stadium Sunday after...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Honours shared in Milan derby
Rome, Nov 24 (IANS) Inter Milan have played out a 1-1 draw against crosstown rivals AC Milan in a sellout Serie A game. Jeremy Menez gave AC Milan a lead at halftime but Joel Obi equalised for Inter shortly after the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
IOC chief condemns Afghan bombing
Lausanne, Nov 24 (IANS) International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach condemned the suicide bombing at a volleyball tournament in Afghanistan. The lone bomber detonated explosives Sunday during a local...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Marseille tops French league
Paris, Nov 24 (IANS) Marseille have climbed to the top of the French league after rallying to beat Bordeaux 3-1. With the victory, they now enjoy a one-point lead over Paris Saint-Germain. Bordeaux striker Thomas...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
New crew aboard Russian spaceship reach ISS
Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) Three new crew members from the US, Russia and Italy arrived Monday at the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Russian spaceship. Terry Virts of NASA, Soyuz Commander Anton...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Sears plans for big Black Friday 2014
Sears is looking foward to cashing in big time for the upcoming Black Friday 2014 shopping holiday on Novermber 28th. Members of Sears have seen their Black Friday specials start one week early and the company has...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Apple gears up for Black Friday
Black Friday is fast approaching and one company that plans on seeing a sales increase is Apple. Apple has announced that they will have discounted prices for the upcoming buying holiday and one product they plan on...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Thousands protest in Chile in favour of new constitution
Santiago, Nov 24 (IANS/EFE) Several thousand people took to the streets of Santiago and other Chilean cities to demand a Constitutional Assembly as a means to provide the country with a new constitution, as was...
Read more on Politics Balla