Foxconn eyes smart watches with wristband technology

Foxconn is a major supplier for Apple, a company rumored to be working on its own smartwatch

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou with other execs.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou with other execs.

Manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group also wants to ride the upcoming wave of wearable tech, and has unveiled a wristband that can monitor a user's health and sync with a smartphone.

When worn, the wristband can monitor a user's blood pressure, heart rate, and even diagnose the person's mood, said Foxconn CEO Terry Gou at the company's annual shareholder's meeting on Wednesday. Data on the wristband can then be displayed on the user's smartphone.

A demo of the wristband showed that after three minutes of use, the device will grade the user's health and diagnose the person's mood. The data collected can also be used to offer recommendations on how to improve users' health, or be shared on social networks or with health care providers.

It's unclear when the technology will arrive in the market. But Gou signaled that the wristband could be used on smart watches.

"Your phone has a big screen, so you will leave it in your pocket. A lot of information you can just look at your watch for," he said. "But the watch can also monitor your health."

Foxconn unveiled the device as rumors continue to swirl that Apple is working on its own smart watch. Foxconn has long been the maker of Apple's iPhone and iPad products, but the contract electronics supplier also counts Amazon, Sony and Microsoft as some of its other clients.

While the company is best known as a manufacturer, Foxconn is also focused on research and innovation, Gou said. It wants to hire 5,000 to 10,000 software engineers in Taiwan. In addition, the company is training its workers in mainland China to become technicians.

"We are doing these things so that we can prepare for the next generation of technology," he added.

Financially, the company is facing challenges. In the first quarter, Foxconn saw a 19.2 percent year-over-year decline in its revenue. Lower than expected demand for Apple's iPhone 5 has been cited by analysts as one reason for the revenue drop.

The company's falling stock price prompted Foxconn's CEO to apologize to shareholders on Wednesday, amid reports that the company is losing iPhone orders to rival manufacturer Pegatron.

Gou wouldn't mention Pegatron by name, but he said Foxconn's competitors were offering low prices to grab orders.

"Getting orders through low prices, is that really of any use? We want to use technology," he added.

Along with its wearable wristband, Foxconn also said it is pioneering the use of carbon nanotubes in touchscreen displays. The carbon nanotubes help make the touchscreens more durable, lighter and cheaper to produce over typical touchscreens that rely on Indium tin oxide as a conductive coating.

The manufacturing technology is already in use with many of Foxconn's clients, and will make touchscreens more prevalent, across all gadgets, including keyboards and entire surfaces of products, according to the company.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Electronics manufacturingconsumer electronicsFoxconn Technology Groupsmartphonesenvironment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?