Apple has already overturned the tech world. Now, it's headed for the health industry.
In its Wednesday new product announcement, the company unveiled a new Apple Watch Series 4 that combines the functions of a FitBit with the nostalgia of Life Alert. Most of the Series 4 features simply improve upon the fitness trackers the watch was already known for — but others leave the Apple Watch poised to disrupt the entire health monitoring industry.
To start, Apple's new watch features a larger display that can fit a slew of health statistics on one screen. Series 4's tracking capabilities are all more precise thanks to the watch's improved processor, and the new device has an embedded accelerometer and gyroscope, which can determine if a wearer has fallen. If the wearer doesn't respond to an alert or move for a minute, the watch will contact emergency services. It's a little like the infamous Life Alert — though wearing a space-gray square on your wrist may be a little more fashionable than Life Alert's yellowish plastic necklace.
The Series 4 also comes with improved heart monitoring systems, which alert wearers if their heart rate drops too low or becomes irregular. The watch can even take an electrocardiogram test to check for heart issues, and then share the results with a doctor. The Series 4 unveiling already has competitors reeling:
All of the Series 4's new capabilities have FDA approval and are protected with Apple's signature encryption for data privacy. Still, no matter how hard it tries to think different, Apple's ads will never have anything on Life Alert's. Kathryn Krawczyk