How the Apple Watch Could Do for Fitness What the iPod Did for Music

PHOTO: The new Apple Watch will cater to fitness buffs, casual exercisers.PlayJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
WATCH Evolution of a Watch

The new Apple Watch was unveiled today at the tech giant's much-anticipated event in Cupertino, and it's a beauty. And for health buffs, that beauty isn't just skin deep.

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Besides a screen sharp enough to rival a high-end high def TV, the sleek device packs a healthy dose of fitness monitoring features. And while many of those features can be found on various fitness devices already on the market, Apple’s first foray into the hot wearable tech market could potentially be the breakout hit, just as the iPod was for digital music players thanks to its groundbreaking interface even though it wasn't the first.

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The full specs for the Apple Watch weren’t released today but we know it will track steps, heart rate, mileage, calories and sleep, and its GPS system will synch up to the iPhone. Apple has developed two different apps that should intrigue both gym rats and casual movers. And third-party apps are expected to follow.

Apple's "activity" app keeps track of any movement you do throughout the day. The "workout" app tracks the more intense movement of workouts and sports.

Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the Apple Watch will be compatible only with relatively recent versions of the iPhone, starting with the iPhone 5. The cost starts at $349 and it comes in two different sizes and three different collections: Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition.

Users can choose from with six swappable bands including a moisture-wicking sports band. Plus Apple touted the ability to personalize the interface.

Cook side-stepped the issue of how long the device will last between charges. But if it requires a daily charge as some tech blogs have speculated, users too lazy to get up off the couch may be too lazy to plug in their watch quite so often.