A watch that can detect falls, and a wireless speaker with new features, were two highlights of Apple’s keynote event Wednesday in Cupertino, CA.
The Apple Watch Series 4, the first major design overhaul of the device since it debuted more than three years ago, includes a new accelerometer and gyroscope for falls detection and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram using a new ECG app. The display is more than 30% larger than the previous display, and the speaker is 50% louder, according to the tech company.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, called the watch “an intelligent guardian for your health.”
The fall detection capability of the watch uses an accelerometer and gyroscope that measure up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms, to identify when a hard fall occurs, Apple said.
“By analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services,” according to the company. “If Apple Watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with location to emergency contacts.”
The watch comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, and starts at $399, or $499 with cellular service. The watch will be available to order Sept. 14 and available in stores Sept. 21.
Apple’s wireless speaker, known as HomePod, has new features that let users set multiple timers, make and receive phone calls and more.
“HomePod is a convenient way to send messages, set timers and reminders, check calendar appointments and the weather, control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories and listen to more than 550,000 podcasts from Apple Podcasts,” Apple said. “The latest headlines, entertainment news and sports updates stream directly to HomePod, and Univision Noticias, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo Entretenimiento and others are now available with support for Spanish.”
The HomePod retails for $349.