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iPhone-maker makes smart wristband for iPhone

John Davidson (via AFR) | June 28, 2013
Foxconn has reportedly revealed its new wristband at its annual ­shareholders meeting this week.

iPhone-maker makes smart wristband for iPhone
Foxconn’s smart wristband might end up on something like the ‘I’m’ smartwatch pictured here. Or it might not.

The manufacturer behind Apple's iPhone has made an iPhone-compatible smart wristband that is supposed to diagnose its wearer's health and mood and report its findings back to his or her phone.

Foxconn Technology Group, the ­Taiwanese electronics giant that ­controversially does much of Apple's manufacturing, reportedly revealed its new wristband at its annual ­shareholders meeting this week.

The wristband, which Foxconn said could be used as part of a ­smartwatch, can measure blood ­pressure and ­heart rate, and will share that data with a nearby, paired ­smartphone, and via the phone with the owner's healthcare provider or social networks.

One could ask whether the wristband will make a status update on Facebook saying "I'm having a heart attack, someone call an ambulance"?

Unclear is exactly when the ­wristband and/or smartwatch will come to market.

The market for smart wristbands is going a little crazy right now, what with the Jawbone Up, Samsung's soon-to-be-released S Band, the Fitbit Flex, and so on. But Foxconn's unnamed wristband does seem to have a trick or two up its sleeve, compared with those competitors. None of those others (as far as I am aware) measures blood pressure and pulse rate, and their failure to do so greatly limits their utility.

You have to press a little button on the Jawbone Up wristband, for example, to tell it when you've started and stopped exercising, and if you forget to press that button, it completely throws out the Up's calculations of how much exercise you're getting. Tracking the wearer's pulse rate would elegantly solve that problem.

Indeed, not measuring pulse rate and blood pressure on a smart wristband is such a glaring omission, I've always figured that the current batch of smart wristbands must have a darned good reason for it. Like, it must have killed the wristband's battery life, or something. So it will be interesting to see what the drawback is, if and when the Foxconn wristband comes out. Maybe you'll have to recharge it every six hours. Now that would get the blood pressure up.


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