Perhaps we have become too jaded about modern technology that we fail to see what’s over the horizon even if it stares us in the face. Wait. What? Is that even possible? Yes, it’s possible to see more of the future by viewing some of the present.
Remember when Apple’s iPhone was launched? Critics howled with disgust. Many laughed. Who’s laughing now. Another group that did not laugh was Google’s Android OS development team. They saw the future of smartphones in iPhone and rushed to complete an iPhone copy as quickly as they could. What’s the future of Apple’s Watch?
Sensors My Dear Watson
Watch is about two years old (announced more than two years ago, but it began shipping in spring 2015) and Apple continues to up the ante with Watch Series 1 and 2; better battery life, faster processor, watchOS 3.x, bright screen, blah, and more blah. Critics howled at Watch, too. “What’s it for?” they asked.
Time, utilities, offloading tasks and functions from iPhone to a more convenient and discrete location. duh. Oh, and sensors. The future of Apple’s Watch is sensors. Michael Krigsman tells a story about how his Android phone died on a trip and he picked up an iPhone 7 Plus and a Watch Series 2, almost on a whim. He tells the story that reflects what many of us have gone through with Watch.
Notifications work well to the point of spam, but Krigsman thinks Watch may have saved his life thanks to the HeartWatch app which began telling him his heart rate was elevated. So, he began to pay more attention. Resting heart rate was high and mildly elevated at other times. One day it was way too high. A series of tests ensued and a tachycardia was found along with a thyroid problem. Krigsman thinks Watch may have saved his life because it helped catch what could have been a serious problem far earlier than would have been normal.
Why? The heart rate sensor on the Watch. The future of Watch is sensors.
How far are we away from a Watch version than can measure blood oxygen, blood pressure, and, when connected to other wearables, other data that can help diagnose problems before they become problems. Not that far. Already the iPhone’s sensor array can be used to diagnose changes in chronic conditions like Parkinson’s Disease. Other such apps are in the works for more diseases and symptoms, and it’s a safe bet to say they will show up in the future on Apple Watch, too, thanks to new sensors that can monitor our health and trends for changes; both negative and positive.
One of the questions we might ask ourselves when we read such stories is why the iPhone’s early critics could not see that far into the future? Why didn’t the many howling critics see far enough into the future to view not only the value of the early versions of Watch, but what future sensors could do to add even more value?
Michael Krigsman noticed something amiss and tracked it down to a potentially life threatening problem. How much better will Watch circa 2020 be for our health?