Apple’s foray into wearable tech comes one step closer with San Francisco keynote date confirmed.

Apple has invited worldwide media to an event on March 9, where the firm will announce launch plans for its Apple Watch.

“Please join us for an invitation-only event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on Monday, March 9, at 10am,” the invite reads. An event will also take place simultaneously in Berlin. The invite carries the strapline “Spring forward”.

It is customary for Apple products to ship within weeks of any keynote, meaning the Apple Watch will potentially be available before the end of the month, beating CEO Tim Cook’s previous announcement of an April release.

The Apple Watch will be the firm’s first truly new hardware release since the death of founder Steve Jobs, and is likely to shape the company’s future strategy for years to come under Cook.

Though other smartwatches have come to market earlier, from rivals such as Samsung, many users have been put off by their clunky interfaces, large and bulky form factor and poor battery life.

The Apple Watch aims for a premium market with its metal casing and comes in dozens of customisable options, including a deluxe gold version. Worries over its battery lasting less than a day are unlikely to dampen initial demand.

Apple’s entry into the smartwatch market is expected to boost sales of rival models by increasing public awareness of the devices.

The Apple Watch, which will be the company’s first entry into the burgeoning wearable technology market other than an iPhone-enabled Nike training app, has been described by Apple as the “most personal device we’ve ever created”, featuring a heart rate monitor and other health and fitness tracking features that feed into the company’s Health app and data sharing service.

Apps available on the Watch will include voice-control tool Siri, Messages, Maps as well as information pulled from calendars, email and other iPhone apps. Third-party developers are expected to embrace the new platform in a similar manner to the iPhone and iPad, creating bespoke software for the timepiece.

At the event, Cook is likely to demonstrate a slew of new apps for the watch, as well as expanding on his comments on the health benefits of the new device.

 Reference: theguardian
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