Apple Moves into Wearable Tech with Introduction of Apple Watch [Update]

Apple announced the Apple Watch at its live media event on Tuesday, bringing and end to rumors that the company has been working on a smart watch device. Not only does it interact with iOS 8 devices, but it also tracks health information, and will be available in two sizes and several colors.

Apple's entry into the wearables market: Apple WatchApple's entry into the wearables market: Apple Watch

The watch design includes a crown, called the Digital Crown, which adds functionality as an input device for the device's smaller screen. In a video narrated by Jonny Ive, the watch is shown to have a curved sapphire display and a set of sensors on the back to track activity. A variation of the MagSafe technology used in MacBook Pro chargers is used to charge the Apple Watch.

Apple is calling the Apple Watch a "comprehensive health and fitness device."

Instead of squishing the iPhone's interface into a small screen, Apple came up with a new interface that relies on a dial on the side of the device and Force Touch on the watch face.

To help conserve power, the watch face is off until you raise your wrist. The Apple Watch can also tell the difference between a tap and a press, which plays into the device's navigation system, and it also uses a haptic feedback system for subtle alerts.

Apple Watch includes sensors for tracking your pulse rate and can use GPS and WiFi data from your iPhone, along with other sensors, to build a comprehensive overview of your daily activity. It also suggests goals to help keep you on track with your fitness routine.

Several watch bands are available to fit your current activity, and they're easy to swap out. Apple said it has created three distinct collections based on various case and strap combinations.

The smart watch lets users reply to messages, includes built-in Siri support for dictating messages, and sports its own version of Apple's Maps app with turn by turn directions.

Apple Watch will be open to third party apps, which should make the device more useful in daily activities. Facebook notifications, for example, are available, hotels and airlines are looking at adding Apple Watch support to their reservation and check in system.

The fitness features Apple Watch includes are designed to help track and improve your fitness routine. It includes apps for tracking your activity and goals, and adapts over time to your workout style.

Apple Watch won't be available until early 2015, but it will support the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. Pricing will start at US$349.

Apple's media event is still underway, so be sure to follow along with The Mac Observer's live coverage and you can keep up to date with our Twitter feed, too.