Apple Watch Series 3 is definitely proving to be a runaway hit in the Wearables space.
According to latest research by Canalys, Apple Watch is leading the pack this quarter. 3.9 million units were shipped over the summer slightly ahead of Xiaomi and Fitbit. Interestingly, this growth in sales for the Apple is happening despite the higher price point of its device.
Shipments of Apple Watch 3 are expected to surge 20% on year to reach 23-25 million units in the coming year according to sources quoted in Digitimes.
RELATED : Apple Watch Series 3: Two Months Later
As 2017 comes to an end, one begins to wonder what is in store for the Apple Watch in 2018 and beyond. There have been few milestones in 2017 that should give you a clue of what’s to come next for the Apple Watch.
We think that the Watch Bands are going to play a much bigger role in the near future.
2017 has been the year of interesting research and product releases when it comes to the role of wearable watchbands and the future.
Making the Most Out of The Band Real Estate – Apple Watch
Majority of the innovations so far on the Apple Watch have focused on the device internals. It now appears that there is potential real estate on the Apple Watch band that can provide value to users.
This year Kardia from AliveCor made history by being the first medical device accessory cleared by the FDA for the Apple Watch. This simple Apple Watch band accessory can provide you with medical grade ECG readings in less than 30 seconds.
AliveCor may have been the first to get a FDA approval but Apple has been thinking about the band real estate for quite some time.
In late October of this year, Apple was granted a patent that focused on modular functional Apple Watch band, where each of the modules could be integrated with sensors and linked together mechanically and electrically.
The individual links in the band, as per the patent, could function as blood pressure sensors, sweat sensors, thermometers and hygrometers among other physical sensor devices.
Now, here is the exciting part…
Some of the links in the Apple watch band could also function as battery repositories. This design change would be huge!!
If the Apple Watch is able to harness power from supplementary battery units, it could provide users with one of the best battery life and potentially power an Apple Watch whose display can be continuously ON.
Although this patent was approved in October 2017, it was originally filed in early 2015, which shows that Apple has been tinkering with design possibilities that will shape the next generation Apple Watch for quite some time now.
In 2016, Tim cook said in an interview that the holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor.
“I love the watch. One day, this is my prediction, we will look back and we will wonder: how can I ever have gone without the Watch? Because the holy grail of the watch is being able to monitor more and more of what’s going on in the body.”
He added that “We believe that health is something that is a huge problem in the world, and we think it is ripe for simplicity and a new view, and we’d like to contribute to that,”
2017 saw the first medical device accessory for Apple Watch. We think the next few years are going to become more interesting.
Me Too – Says Samsung
When it comes to re-imagining the watchband, Apple is not the only player. Samsung has also been looking into the art of the possibilities in this space.
In March of 2017, the company got its patent (9,592,007) approved that shows how the company is planning on deploying adjustable wearable systems.
The thinking is very similar to that of Apple’s. Embedded sensor modules in the Watchband will be available to users so that they can pick and choose the sensors that they would want to use.
Unlike the Apple’s design of using sensor links in the band, Samsung’s thinking is to integrate the sensor computing unit as well as the sensor modules into the band itself.
Even Samsung realizes the potential of extra battery juice via the band. Their design also includes ancillary battery units on the band itself.
Samsung is also in the process of looking how it can use collected biosignals from the watch to authenticate users.
When it comes to wearables, we are still in the early years of innovation and consumer adoption. There is more to follow, especially when it comes to the vacant real estate on your Apple Watch band.
Apple is among nine technology companies chosen by the FDA in 2017 to test a new pilot program that could allow health products to be developed and released without delay.
Because of the long and stringent FDA processes in the past, Apple has not pursued the opportunities in the space but that may be changing as we head into 2018.
It is very much possible that the design specifications for the band of the future that we have seen so far only in patents become a reality.
If the bands were customizable, what would you like to see in your Apple Watch band?
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.