M7 chip adds health-tracking capabilities to iPhone 5S

The new chip is designed to work alongside the A7 processor to analyze the iPhone 5S' movement.

Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Apple has unveiled a new processor for its iPhone 5S that will attempt to improve its handset's interaction with health and fitness apps.

Unveiled on Tuesday by Apple's Phill Schiller, the M7 is what the company calls a "motion coprocessor." The coprocessor continuously measures motion data through the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope, taking it away from Apple's standard A7 processor.

According to Schiller, the coprocessor will determine if a person is stationary, walking, or driving, and can be incorporated into health and fitness apps to analyze movement. Schiller also unveiled a new app, called Nike+ Move, that utilizes the coprocessor.

Other than that, Apple has remained tight-lipped so far on exactly what the iPhone 5S' coprocessor might be used for. It's possible, Schiller says, more fitness and health apps will use it in the coming months.

This is a developing story. Follow our CNET live blog, check out the latest on the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, and see all of today's Apple news.
About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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