For most smartwatch wearers, myself included, the worst that could become our timepiece is a mild soaking from an overenthusiastic pub toilet sink. But for some — players of extreme sports, stunt men and women or those that can’t resist a brawl in the aforementioned pubs — smartwatches are just a bit too delicate for everyday wear.
Apple is apparently looking to correct this with a new version of its Apple Watch, according to the well connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a rugged version of the Apple Watch will come with a “ruggedized” design that’s more resistant to scratches, falls, dents and the kind of punishment those of a less sedentary lifestyle could expect their wearables to take.
You may remember that before it’s release, a number of leakers so reliable you can set your (Apple) watch by them predicted that the Apple Watch Series 7 would feature a new, flatter design. They were proved wrong, but so strong were the rumors that Chinese knock offs were already appearing based on the CAD designs, which must be amusingly hard to shift now.
It’s just possible that this flatter design is still in the works and is the basis of a more rugged smartwatch? Pure speculation, but it certainly seems plausible.
Elsewhere, Gurman predicts that Apple will also be giving the Apple Watch SE a refresh, two years after it debuted in 2020. The SE was a cut-back version of the Apple Watch which maintained the same iconic design, but ditched features like the always-on display, blood oxygen sensing and ECG functionality. Gurman is silent on what will be different, but at the very least, you’d expect a faster processor and maybe a few more hand-me-down features from its better specced siblings.
We’re still a long way from the next generation of Apple Watches appearing on wrists, as the wearables tend to launch alongside the flagship iPhones in September. But this year could be a big one for Apple’s wearables.
Earlier this year, The Telegraph discovered that Apple was the biggest customer of a company called Rockley Photonics, which develops non-invasive medical sensors measuring everything from blood glucose to blood alcohol levels. The CEO told the newspaper that sensors would likely be hitting consumer products in 2022 — though he was careful not to name Apple.
So who knows — this time next year, your Apple Watch 8 might be telling you if you’re too drunk to make sensible decisions. Which could save you from buying a truly tasteless strap to go with it…