Apple iChip Rumors Surface
April 1, 2015 – by Per Christensson
Just weeks before the global launch of the Apple Watch, rumors have surfaced of the next Apple device — the iChip.
Only a few details have leaked so far, and the device is said to be the first of its kind in the new "embedded" market. While wearables, such as wristbands and watches, are expected to remain popular for several years, Apple is betting that embedded devices will eventually become the preferred option.
No verified photos of the iChip have surfaced yet, but according to reputable sources, it is a thin integrated circuit designed to be placed underneath a person's skin. The designated placement of the chip in the human body is yet to be determined, though most analysts believe it will be placed in a person's wrist or top of the hand.
The iChip includes a built-in screen that can display similar data as the Apple Watch, including the time, calendar, text messages, heart rate, and activity level. It uses a display technology called HIOLED (High Intensity Organic Light Emitting Diode) that provides additional luminosity to make it visible through a person's skin. TTCS (Transitive Touch Capacitor Surface) technology allows users to control the device like a traditional touchscreen without actually touching the screen itself.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the iChip is that it does not contain a battery. Instead, the chip is powered organically by a person's blood flow. Once the iChip is installed, it never needs to be recharged. This is consistent with Apple's leaked marketing slogan, "Always in, always on."
The iChip is expected to have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth receivers, allowing it download over-the-air updates and sync with other devices. The included GPS receiver will allow it to track users' daily activity and location. A unique identifier included in each device will allow users to automatically authenticate with a wide variety of security systems, including Apple Pay, iPhones, home security systems, and automobiles.
The embedded nature of the iChip will make it arguably the most convenient product Apple has ever created. However, it also poses some new challenges, such as how to install and replace the device. Apple is rumored to be building "installation hubs" where early testers of the device can have the iChip installed using minimally invasive robotic equipment. Analysts expects these hubs will be rolled out to Apple Stores across the globe when the device is released next year.