What it is: Apple’s wearable computer product line is growing with almost no competition in sight.
When Apple introduced the iPhone, Google quickly rewrote Android from mimicking Blackberry to mimicking the iPhone. When Apple introduced the iPad, Google quickly rewrote Android to work on tablets. When Apple introduced the Apple Watch, Google quickly create Android Wear. Yet unlike other versions of Android that eventually caught on, Android Wear remains largely forgotten. Most everyone has seen an Android smartphone or tablet, but how many people have bought, let alone used, an Android Wear smart watch?
While rivals focus on the apple Watch, Apple is busy expanding their wearable computer market with AirPods and Beats devices that you put in your ear. While such devices might seem like nothing fancier than ear buds, they have the potential to offer more than just audio quality. Apple already patented a way to monitor health through blood vessels int he ear, which can actually be more accurate than wrist-based health monitoring because blood vessels in the ear are closer to the brain. While rivals focus on cloning the Apple Watch using Android Wear, how many companies are looking at the similar wearable computer market for ear buds?
Apple is also reportedly working on smart glasses and other types of body sensors. Apple recently acquired Beddit, a sensor that lays under your sheet in bed to monitor your health while sleeping. Apple’s “Holy Grail” will be non-invasive glucose monitoring that could be a special body sensor or wrist band to go along with the Apple Watch.
Wearable computers first gained popularity as fitness trackers for athletes and exercise enthusiasts. Now they’re filtering to the general public as real-time health monitoring systems for people who have illnesses that they want to monitor for early warning signs of danger. Eventually healthy people will want to wear similar real-time health monitoring devices for early detection of possible problems way ahead of time. The sooner you can detect a problem, the more likely treatment will be successful.
So the wearable computer market is huge and growing, yet rivals still seem obsessed with creating iPhone clones. Apple is poised to dominate the wearable computer market for real-time health monitoring. In the meantime, Microsoft killed their Microsoft Band product. Just as Microsoft missed the smartphone and mobile computer market, they’re now poised to miss the wearable computer market as well along with most other companies in the computer industry.
The last few years have seen nothing but incremental improvements to the iPhone. Expect the next few years to radically change that as wearable computers grown in popularity and the iPhone adds new features to match these advances in real-time health monitoring. Wearable computers may be the future, but a smartphone connection to a wearable computer will likely be a main factor so the smartphone can call for help if the wearable computer detects an emergency such as a heart attack.
Wearable computers and smartphones will work hand in hand. That’s great for Apple since if they dominate the wearable computer market with real-time health monitoring, they’ll also dominate the smartphone market. That’s bad for everyone else because if they miss out on the real-time health monitoring market with wearable computers, their smartphone market share will plummet as well.
Wearable computers are the future. It’s just a matter of wondering where you’ll put them on your body.