Apple’s Next Big Thing
When you’re in the innovation business, you’re likely to be thinking about “what’s next” just about everyday. In anticipation of each of Apple’s milestone announcements over the past years, I’ve made a particular habit of predicting what’s to come. So for tomorrow’s much anticipated announcement, I’m looking for something more significant than just a new phone in a long line of upgrades, let alone a new watch. Without research, but with plenty of intuition, my prediction is the announcement of what will effectively be the birth of “Apple Health” through a much more cohesive and integrated set of hardware and software offerings. Start with the many rumors about an Apple watch / wearable. That will get us a music and video player, camera…oh, and time…for starters, among other core features. But add biometric features that make the watch not just an instrument of time and music but a wearable instrument for health tracking, whether measuring the output from a 6.5 mile run or proactively monitoring heart, lung, or other critical body functions. Now, add the new iPhone 6 (and iPad and desktop) with new hardware and software features. Integrate those with the watch and what will surely be a growing range of health app(s) from the new iOs 8 and open source apps from the iTunes Store. Now let’s stretch the imagination and consider the Beats acquisition, just officially completed on August 1. “Apple said it planned to elevate the experience of Beats headphones to even higher levels through the purchase,” as reported in the Apple Insider on August 1. Imagine new headphones with features that bring additional biometric measurement as well as the ability to provide audible feedback and / or guidance when used in conjunction with a health-related app. Together, with even a combination of the above, you’ve got a very simple yet powerful consumer health management system. Apple i-Health might be a name to consider… Whether Apple makes such an announcement tomorrow or not, I’m still betting and hoping that Apple will bring the power, elegance and simplicity–so needed in consumer healthcare–to its core product line in the not too distant future.