• Workplace

    A Watch is Watching You

    Mon Nov 05 2018
    . 2 min read

    By Distinguished Professor Robert M. Donnelly Four years ago Apple introduced the Apple Watch, and millions have been sold since. The initial response was similar to many of the previous reactions to new Apple devices all the way back to the first Apple computer way back in 1975. Who needs an iWatch? Well four years later with each new generation the iWatch is becoming better at sensing what’s going on with, and inside, its wearers’ bodies. So much so, that the current Apple Watch can now alert/message when a wearers’ heart rate has dipped too low, or too high. The latest Series 4 can ask when it senses any kind of an abrupt movement, if you might have fallen, offering to call an ambulance. Apple announced that its latest model in development contains a functioning electrocardiogram, or EKG, widening the scope of the devices body monitoring well beyond elective physical activities or passive quantification and into active diagnosis. The way Apple technology is evolving the Apple Watch appears to be another Apple device that will become an integral part of our evolving world of smart devices that we will not be able to remember living without. Apple, entrepreneurial as ever, has already met with the insurance giant Aetna to discuss ways in which the company might suggest Apple Watches as a necessary device to encourage healthier behaviour to its tens of millions of customers. Likewise, John Hancock, one of the largest life insurers in the U.S. said it is considering offering all its customers the option of an interactive policy, in which their customers could get discounts for healthy habits, as evidenced by data from wearable devices like the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is another in a series of smart devices that will become part of our evolving data hungry new way of life. Next generations of Apple Watches will have broader, busier faces, resplendent with data, the time, date, weather, and probably the UV index. Who knows, someday they may even replace your smart phone, which isn’t too far away from an old cartoon character, Dick Tracy, who would talk to his phone and get answers from it in his episodes in local papers. This leads us into the evolving new world of artificial intelligence. For example, Amazon was issued a new technology patent recently that would enable Alexa to detect user’s physical, emotional, and behavioural states. For instance if Alexa detects a cough or a sniffle when a user makes a voice request, the assistant might respond by asking if the user wants to order lozenges? Obviously, Alexa’s potential ability to constantly monitor its users and respond in real time would pave the way for brands to interact with consumers in a flexible manner, which could boost brand awareness and drive voice purchases. Apple, and all of its technology partners are using A.I. to analyse more data much faster, which is leading the way to a more intelligent and healthier life style for the world. Robert M. Donnelly, a Distinguished Professor at Rushmore, is an author, educator, and brand builder. His book: Personal Brand Building for Life. is available on Amazon.