Posted in Mobile Health by Chris Wiltz on September 10, 2013
The M7, a new processor chip featured in the iPhone 5s, enables more options for health and fitness applications.
Apple's new iPhone 5s has been unveiled today and it looks like the device will have an attractive new feature for health and fitness app developers. At today's keynote, Phil Schiller, Apple senior VP of worldwide marketing, announced that the iPhone 5s will come equipped with a “motion coprocessor” chip called the M7, which continuously measures data from the phone's accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. The 5s be able to tell if you're stationary, walking, or even driving. Apple has also created an API for developers called CoreMotion API to develop health tracking apps. Nike has already created an app called Nike+ Move that uses the M7 and the iPhone's GPS to track user movements. Nike calls the app an introductory experience to Nike Fuel, creating speculation that the company hopes to use the 5s as a means of turning consumers onto its other health tracking products like the Fuel Band – a smart move as it seems the M7 is designed, in part, to attack products like the Fuel Band directly.
This new iPhone unveiling comes only a week after Samsung made its own announcement of a new Galaxy Note III and made a play into the health tracking and wearable devices market with it's Galaxy Gear smartwatch. It seems Apple is hoping the iPhone 5s's new sensor technology will give it a one-up on Samsung and help it regain some of the traction Apple has lost to Samsung in the smartphone market. With the Galaxy Gear only compatible with Samsung smartphones (for now) it could do well on Apple's part if app and hardware developers who have already created iPhone compatitible products look at this as an opportunity to expand and upgrade on the platform. With the iPhone so popular among mobile health app developers, the M7 could be the move Apple needs to undercut the competition in the mobile health space.