Official Apple Watch smart bands rumored for 2016

Apple Watch
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Filed today under “rumors of questionable authenticity” is a whisper that Apple has plans to bring out a range of smart bands for its Apple Watch wearable device. The proposed straps — which would add to an already extensive line available from Apple — could potentially add extra functionality and perhaps a few hours of additional battery life too.

Czech website Letem Svetem Applem has the story, citing the usual anonymous sources that seem to be employed at every major hardware manufacturer in the world. The report says that the new bands are set to launch next year and are going to include options to measure blood oxygen, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. It’s not the first time we’ve heard rumors that the Apple Watch could keep an eye on your heart.

The new smart bands are said to be taking advantage of the secret diagnostic port built into every timepiece but which isn’t accessible to the average consumer. It’s possible that Apple is using the opportunity to add sensors and functionality that it couldn’t quite squeeze into the first generation of the product; Letem Svetem Applem also suggests it’s a way of getting extra revenue from Apple Watch owners who won’t be upgrading every year or even every two years.

Apple isn’t the only wearable manufacturer looking into the idea of smart straps either: Pebble has pledged up to $1 million in support for startups who want to add extra features to its own watch. Everything from NFC readers to GPS trackers could theoretically be added simply by swapping out the provided strap for something else.

It’s not a rumor we’d put too much faith in until it’s reported by one or two additional sources, but it’s one that makes a lot of sense provided Apple can give users a simple way of accessing the diagnostic port — the company knows that if it doesn’t provide this kind of functionality for its smartwatch, other outfits will.

Deals

It’s no Apple Watch, but the Vtech Kidizoom is a cheap smartwatch for kids

Looking for a cheap, no-nonsense smartwatch for kids? The Vtech Kidizoom DX2 smartwatch lets your child take photos, videos, play games, and track steps. With a $15 discount, it's very affordable.
Home Theater

Apple's Airpods 2 could be released as early as this week

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for March 2019

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.
Computing

Keep your portable computer safe and shiny with the best laptop bags for 2019

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Android

Mobile World Congress 2019

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are dominating the news. For 2019…
Product Review

Casio’s Pro Trek WSD-F30 outdoors smartwatch fits city lifestyles, too

It’s equipped with all the outdoor tools and sensors you want, but the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 is as much a lifestyle smartwatch as it is trekking companion.
Wearables

Microsoft Band: Users of the defunct fitness tracker offered a refund

Three years after it stopped making the device, Microsoft has announced it is finally ending support for its Band fitness tracker. The good news is that current users, if there are any still out there, can obtain a partial refund.
Wearables

Fitbit drops the price, splashes on the color for spring 2019 lineup

Fitbit's spring 2019 lineup includes a new Versa Lite Edition, an affordable everyday smartwatch, as well as the stylish and sleek Inspire and Inspire HR fitness trackers. There's also the Ace 2, a swimproof tracker for kids ages 6 and up.
Wearables

Time to get to the gym: The fitness-loving Galaxy Watch Active is now available

Looking for a new fitness buddy? Samsung just launched the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit, two new wearables with a raft of fitness-focused features that'll keep you moving and get you down to the gym.
Home Theater

IPX what? The electronics water- and dust-resistance rating explained

Increasingly, consumer electronics companies are using an IPX code to demonstrate that their products are water and dust resistant. But what does this IPX code mean? We break it all down and walk you through it.
Wearables

Fitbit Versa Lite versus Fitbit Versa: How are they different?

Fitbit took the best of its popular Versa smartwatch and removed some elements to create the new Versa Lite, an even more affordable entry-level smartwatch. How does the Versa Lite differ from the original Versa? Read on to find out.
Wearables

You will never need to charge a smartwatch again, if new EU project succeeds

A new EU research project has launched into finding a new way of powering wearable devices, with the intention of using an energy harvesting system to ensure we never have to charge one up ever again.
Wearables

Garmin Marq series offers stylish performance for those willing to pay for it

Garmin had been around for 30-years and is celebrating its anniversary with a big announcement: The Marq, a new series of premium adventure smartwatches designed for consumers who want stylish performance and are willing to pay for it.