To give Apple credit where credit is due, nothing transformed the [then] thought to be mature Smartphone segment like Apple.
Before the iPhone I knew painfully about the limitations of then Smartphones.
- Scarcity of Applications
- Difficulties with Wifi
- Extreme difficulties with Bluetooth
- User Interface Inconsistencies
- Mediocre behaviour as a phone! (Examples: Crude Address book, Voicemail)
Now ironically it is 2014 and I find myself at a spookily similar point for Health monitoring. Just as back in the day (pre iPhone) it was possible to run a smartphone, today it is possible to perform continuous health monitoring.
BUT IT IS NOT EASY
IT REQUIRES EXPERTISE, EFFORT, and BLEEDING EDGE TECH
What am I talking about?
- Continuous Heart Rate Monitoring
- Oxygen in Blood Saturation
- Calories expended, steps walked, runs made per day
- Sleep tracking analysis (movement, type of sleep)
- Weight tracking
What could be the benefits?
To the obese, care less, die anytime, well probably not very much.
However to everybody else ,,,
Continuous health monitoring opens up the possibility to help keep us in the best possible condition shape that we can, and / or offer us advice on how to achieve more. And point out to the consequences of monitored changes in heart rate, sleep patterns, inactivity, activity.
These technologies are available today to the most elite athletes but not to the /regular joe/.
Of course other companies have already begun to explore this area
CES 2014 was overrun with companies promoting health trackers or monitoring devices. Most are still not yet shipping in volume
Samsung recently annouced SAMI which directly competes with the presumed proprietary platform that Apple I assume will choose to announce.
So what could I wish Apple to announce at WWDC-2014?
a) A joint venture with Samsung (SAMI) or other to promote an open standard for Operating System Independent API's and standards for Health monitoring (about 0.01% likely)
Instead what will they most likely announce?
b) A proprietary Apple, vendor Specific iOS API for Health Monitoring (80% likely in my opinion)
And, what might also be interesting?
c) A convergence of the OSX and iOS at both the presentation level and API/ programming level (about 90% likely). And, an acknowledgement that this is exactly what Windows 8 is all about and a credit to Microsoft for copying their idea (of first trying to link phone and Desktop platforms together) (credit about 0% likely)
And, what is expected but NOT interesting?
d) The Beats acquisition
To me, I hope they did not make the purchase because they felt that Apple was lacking in either Hardware or Profanity.
What is not expected?
e) An iWatch that does much more than a Pebble or similar Android based Smartwatch. Specifically I mean an adjunct to an iPhone (only of course!). And specifically that any initial iWatch delivery would be without sensors to reliably measure Heart Rate, Position, Temperature, Perspiration, Oxygen, Blood Pressure. A useful iWatch will be several iterations away.
So let's us wait for the livestream. Coming to us all June 02 - June 06, 2014.