Do Apple’s secret meetings with Aetna signal a new stand-alone Apple Watch?

Cold war

The folks over at Blizzard Entertainment, makers of such obscure videogames such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch – you may have heard of those – is bringing back, it’s online platform and storefront. Well, sort of. In one of those cases where it seems the marketing department had a bit too much to drink at happy hour, is back, but will be known as, which doesn’t really roll off the tongue as well.

First launched way back in 1996, was the portal through which gamers registered and sort of became the key platform for Blizzard in communicating with users and fans. But last fall, the Verge says Blizzard started moving away from the network, preferring to use Twitch, YouTube and Facebook for outreach. That didn’t sit very well with many fans, and now the company is returning to the Battle net, as it were, but with some extra Blizzard in tow.

The Apple Watch we all secretly want

Remember the Apple watch? Yes, it’s still for sale, and according to CNBC, Cupertino is holding super-secret meetings with insurance giant Aetna to get the watch on the wrists of millions of their customers. Over 50,000 Aetna staffers already get them as work perks, so moving onto customers seems logical. But, what’s the point if those customers are not iPhone users? That could be the real story.

Recent rumors have suggested that Apple will soon debut a new generation of the Apple Watch that will work as a stand-alone device that doesn’t need an iPhone for internet – and maybe even cell service – connectivity. If that Apple Watch does come to fruition, it could mark a massive turning point in the Apple Watch’s market – and a possible money saver for Aetna and other insurance companies.

How? Apple is said to be working on real-time blood sugar monitoring tech with the watch, which would be a huge game-changer for diabetics sick of poking themselves with needles. It could also improve their health – thereby lowering costs for Aetna. And of course, a standalone Apple Watch/phone could also be a big shift for the cell phone industry, especially for people who want minimal tech, but still want a cell phone. We could know more next month.

So far away from me

So what’s going to be the hottest new tech in cellphones? VR? AR? Maybe, but more likely, it’s depth sensing, a technology that works with both AR and VR, and many other aspects of our beloved pocket computers. Apple’s iPhone 8 will reportedly have depth-sensing facial recognition tech, and now Snapdragon chipmaker Qualcomm has announced it is going all-in on a dedicated Android digital vision system that’s really good at knowing how far away things are.

As seen in a video clip, the Qualcomm Spectra system, now in its second generation, can create a depth-accurate representation of this person playing keyboards. Pretty cool. This kind of technology, when applied to security systems, greatly cuts down on the ability to spoof and fool 3D facial recognition tech, but it could also be used to quickly map a room or space for use in a VR or AR system.

The dual-camera system basically mimics how our eyes and brain work, and can be integrated into a cell phone’s camera system. Indeed, Apple and a growing number other phone makers are already outfitting phones with dual-camera setups, ostensibly for photography, so it won’t be long until they’re put to use in AR and VR applications.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.


Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Best iPhone: Which Apple smartphone should you buy?

There are three main iPhone models available, and prices vary significantly, so it's important to make the right decision. We've used them all, and we break down what makes each one great, and which model will be best for you.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: HyperloopTT’s Dirk Ahlborn discusses the future of travel

We chatted with HyperloopTT's Dirk Ahlborn about the newest way to travel. The Hyperloop travels at nearly the speed of sound and has already been commercially approved in China and the UAE.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: A runaway Tesla, new Airpods, and Hyperloop updates

On episode 28 of Digital Trends Live, host Greg Nibler and guest Adrien Warner explored the biggest tech news of the day, including rumors of new Airpods, a police chase involving a Tesla, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa-enabled Billy Bass, ‘Gear.Club Unlimited 2,’ and more

Alexa-enabled fish and Boring Company lawsuits highlighted this episode of Digital Trends Live. We also welcomed Chris Rosario to talk about Gear.Club Unlimited 2 and Ian Williams of Deadstock Coffee joined the show from Tokyo, Japan.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Harlem Globetrotter Big Easy talks new app, favorite gadget

We welcomed Harlem Globetrotter Nathaniel Lofton to talk about how he became a Globetrotter 14 years ago. Big Easy also told us about the brand-new Harlem Globetrotters app that is now available on Android and Apple.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: First 5G phone, Batcole Foundation, and a new data breach

Tuesday on Digital Trends Live, Greg Nibler discussed trending topics such as the Quora data breach, and Jeremy Kaplan was joined by Katie Linendoll from the Batcole Foundation to discuss the benefits of AR and VR in hospital rooms.
Digital Trends Live

Filmmaker Justin Ching talks about empowering underrepresented voices

Justin Ching, filmmaker and founder of production studio J-school, believes it is important to empower underrepresented communities to tell their own stories. He appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about his journey and J-school's…
Digital Trends Live

Pro4Ma CEO Liz Dunn explains the retail trends of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of sales, but also of chaos. Pro4MA CEO Liz Dunn appeared on Digital Trends Live to discuss the shifts she has seen in Black Friday weekend, and what they mean for consumers.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa updates, Uber’s self-driving cars, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Senior Editor Caleb Denison discussed the best streaming devices and we welcomed Danny Pyell and Felia Mano, the Nintendo Power Couple, and Kelly Dachtler from OBVS to the show.
Digital Trends Live

CEO of shoe startup OB/VS talks about exploration-focused footwear

Today we had the founder of OB/VS Kelly Dachtler to talk about why he wanted to start a footwear company, what makes the shoes his firm manufactures unique, and what future products are in store.