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+.

 
 
 

<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

Apple Not Interested in Constructing a Mac with the Touchscreen
Apple Not Interested in Constructing a Mac with the Touchscreen
Apple's senior vice president of software Craig Federighi says that the company is not willing to develop a Touchscreen Mac
 
 
27-Inch iMac Teardown Shows Similar Components to the Previous Version
27-Inch iMac Teardown Shows Similar Components to the Previous Version
The 27-inch Retina iMac possess identical internal construction of the previous generation model
 
 
Apple Aiming For Bigger Sales With The iPad Mini
Apple Aiming For Bigger Sales With The iPad Mini
The company isn’t only trying to sell the cheaper iPad after all
 
 
HomeKit Likely To See Release In 2015
HomeKit Likely To See Release In 2015
So far Apple has been silent about their smart home platform
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

1,074 new dengue cases in Chinese province
Beijing, Oct 18 (IANS) China's Guangdong province has reported 1,047 new cases of dengue fever, health authorities said Saturday. Six people have already died in Guangdong -- five in Guangzhou and one in adjacent...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Blake Lively 'always' wanted to be mum
Blake Lively has ''always'' wanted to be a mother. The 27-year-old actress is expecting her first child with husband Ryan Reynolds and she admits she's been dreaming of this moment since she was a youngster. Speaking...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kris Jenner 'torn apart' by Bruce's new relationship
Kris Jenner feels ''torn apart and angry'' that Bruce Jenner is dating her former assistant. The 58-year-old matriarch split from the 64-year-old Olympic gold medalist last October following 22-years of marriage but is...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini won't move to France
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini doesn't want to move to her husband's home country of France. The 'X Factor' judge, 31, who comes from Newcastle, is adamant she won't be relocating any time soon to suit her new spouse Jean-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Lance Bass sets wedding date
Lance Bass has set a date for his wedding. The former *NSYNC singer and his partner Michael Turchin, who have been dating for two-and-a-half years, are to tie the knot on December 20, 2014, a representative for the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Nepal avalanche toll reaches 39
Kathmandu, Oct 18 (IANS) At least 39 climbers died while hiking on a key Nepali route after it was hit by a major snowstorm and avalanches earlier this week, BBC reported Saturday citing officials. Over 350 stranded...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jake Gyllenhaal says society is complicit in 'nightcrawling'
Jake Gyllenhaal says almost everybody in society ought to relate to his new movie 'Nightcrawlers'. The eagerly-awaited film concerns those people who monitor police scanners and then race to crime scenes to film eye-...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
India eves look for first win in AFC U-16 qualifiers
Dhaka, Oct 18 (IANS) India will hope to register their first win of the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-16 Women's Championship qualifiers when they take on hosts Bangladesh in a crucial encounter at the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Moyes mulling return to management
London, Oct 18 (IANS) Former Manchester United manager David Moyes said that he is ready to revive his managerial career six months after being sacked by the 'Red Devils'. "I am ready to return. I have enjoyed the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ebola fears loom over Ghana hosting AFCON
Accra (Ghana), Oct 18 (IANS) The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) cautioned the government Saturday against hosting the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), despite a request by the Confederation of African Football (...
Read more on Sport Balla