Apple's upcoming wearable — the so-called iWatch — will come in two sizes, have a curved OLED display, will be able to track health and fitness data, and will include NFC, likely for making mobile payments, according to The Wall Street Journal. Specifics on Apple's smartwatch are still relatively hard to come by, but more and more general details have been coming out ahead of its expected unveiling next Tuesday. The Journal reiterates that Apple is unlikely to ship the device this year, with Recode previously reporting that it should be expected in early 2015.
OLED could be a big battery saver
Though Apple has criticized OLED displays in the past for having over-saturated colors, the technology is a logical choice for a smartwatch. An OLED display only needs to light up pixels that are actively in use, meaning that Apple's watch could potentially display some basic information — say, the time — while leaving the rest of the screen black. If that's how Apple chooses to use it, that could potentially be a big battery saver.
NFC is the other particularly new tidbit in the Journal's report. Support for NFC — a short-range, wireless communications system — is said to be coming to Apple's next iPhones as well, and inclusion in its wearable would show that Apple has serious plans for the technology. NFC should be very familiar to anyone who's used an Android phone in the past several years, but Apple has until now ignored the technology and left it out of the iPhone. One of NFC's key uses has been in facilitating mobile payments — an area that many are trying to crack, but that no one has gained much ground in yet. Apple is said to be the latest making an attempt, and it's expected to unveil a payments system alongside all of these new devices on Tuesday. Paying a bill with your watch may sound strange for now, but if Apple pulls it off, it might be pretty normal in the future. The Journal also suggests that NFC could be used to simplify the process of pairing an iWatch and an iPhone.
The big draw of Apple's smartwatch is thought to be a variety of health sensors, though there's still little detail on what those will be. A heart-rate sensor is believed to be among them. As far as display sizes goes, reports have varied, and the Journal doesn't specify any particular sizes either. Earlier reports have pointed to sizes between 1.3-inches and 2.5-inches, which would be larger than even Samsung's recently unveiled Gear S.