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

Apple Black Friday Deals are on Sale in MacMall Black Friday 2014 Sale
 
 
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
Over 20 Black Friday 2014 sales are already launched. Get the deals early to get your head free for the hard to get Black Friday deals to be released on Thanksgiving Day.
 
 
Target Black Friday Pre Sale launched Online
Target Black Friday Pre Sale launched Online
The Target Black Friday 2014 pre sale is live online offering $100 Gift Cards with iPad Air and iPad mini 3 purchases and many more deals.
 
 
The Best Black Friday 2014 iPad Deals
The Best Black Friday 2014 iPad Deals
The Amazon Black Friday 2014 Sale has been released. The Amazon Black Friday 2014 begins earlier than ever before. In past years the Amazon Black Friday deals week started on Sunday.Besides Amazon, Walmart has kicked...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Daily coffee may cut Alzheimer's risk by 20 percent
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Researchers have found that drinking up to five cups of coffee per day may help curb Alzheimer's risk by 20 percent. Caffeine in coffee helps prevent the formation of amyloid plaques and...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kindle Black Friday 2014 Deals Live Now
As expected Amazon will have a huge Black Friday sale on the Amazon Kindle eBook reader and the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets. The Kindle Black Friday 2014 Deals are live now. Amazon will offer the Kindle Fire HD 6 for $79...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Mandzukic's hat-trick fires Atletico Madrid to pre-quarters
Madrid, Nov 27 (IANS) Atletico Madrid secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, thanks to a 4-0 win at home against Olympiacos at the Vicente Calderon Stadium here. Atletico kicked off the game...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Atletico Mineiro clinch their first Copa do Brasil title
Belo Horizonte, Nov 27 (IANS) Atletico Mineiro clinched their first Copa do Brasil title by defeating local rivals Cruziero 3-0 on aggregate in the two-legged final. Brazil international striker Diego Tardelli struck...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Australian batsman Phillip Hughes is dead
Sydney, Nov 27 (IANS) Australian batsman Phillip Hughes who was struck on the head by a cricket ball died in hospital, Cricket Australia (CA) said Thursday. The 25-year-old Hughes, who represented the national team in...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Ex-minister claims proof of IS presence in Pakistan
Islamabad, Nov 27 (IANS) Former interior minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Rehman Malik claimed he has evidence about the presence of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Pakistan. "Prime Minister...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
AS Monaco stun Leverkusen 1-0 in Champions League
Berlin, Nov 27 (IANS) AS Monaco needed just one shot on target to beat Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 in an UEFA Champions League Group C match. Despite the second loss in Group C Leverkusen qualified for the last 16, thanks to...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
11 killed in coal mine explosion in China
Beijing, Nov 27 (IANS) At least 11 people were killed in a coal mine explosion in China's Guizhou province Thursday, media reported. The accident happened in Songlin coal mine in Songhe town of Pan county. At the time...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
James Cameron: New Avatar films will shock
James Cameron says the new 'Avatar' films will be ''bitchin'.'' The three sequels to the 2009 blockbuster are currently in pre-production as the screenwriter puts the finishing touches to the scripts, but has hinted...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
SAARC leaders gather at Nepal resort for retreat
Kathmandu, Nov 27 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew in an Indian Air Force chopper to the Dhulikhel resort to join other South Asian leaders at the retreat there Thursday, the concluding day of the two-...
Read more on Politics Balla