What it is: Apple recently patented smart bands for the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch has always been constrained by its smaller size that needs to fit comfortable on a user’s wrist. While the Apple Watch provides sensors to detect heart rates and skin moisture, there’s only so many sensors Apple can put on the physical size of the Apple Watch. Even worse is that some people may not want certain types of sensors while other people do.
That’s why Apple has patented smart bands that work with the Apple Watch. The main idea behind smart bands is to provide extra sensors that the smaller size of the Apple Watch can’t accommodate.
One long-rumored sensor that Apple is working on is non-invasive glucose monitoring. This would provide a way for diabetics to monitor their blood sugar level without breaking their skin to get a blood sample. Since only diabetics would want such a sensor, it makes sense to offer it as an optional smart band that can work with any Apple Watch.
Right now, the band that holds an Apple Watch to a person’s wrist does nothing else. By adding smart capabilities, a smart band offers more space for adding sensors to compliment the Apple Watch. Today the Apple Watch is dependent on the iPhone but soon the Apple Watch will be independent of the iPhone. With the addition of smart bands, the Apple Watch will soon be more capable as a biometric device as well.
The Apple Watch isn’t the only type of wearable computer Apple is working on. The less obvious rival is Apple’s AirPods, which could detect blood vessels in the ear canal, which is supposedly easier to access than blood vessels in the arm.
Still another potential wearable computer will be smart glasses. With so many wearable computer models to choose from, it’s likely people will choose one or more for different activities.
The Apple Watch will be focused on real-time health monitoring. AirPods will be focused on hearing and real-time health monitoring. Smart glasses will be focused on real-time information overlaid against the real world.
Mobile computing (smartphones and tablets) are slowly taking over the traditional PC market just as PCs gradually took over from the mainframe and minicomputer market.
Now wearable computers offer the next big leap forward as people start wearing their computers instead of carrying them with them.
The future of the Apple Watch is smart bands and the future of computing will be wearables whether strapped to your wrist, stuck in your ear, or propped on your face.