As you probably know, the nano’s main purpose is to play music. The new one also comes with an impressive multi-touch screen and 8GB or 16GB of storage.
Like I said it is about the size of a watch face. Check out what some third party designers created (a stunning watch band to turn the nano into a watch):
So what does any of this have to do with the future of heart rate monitoring?
Within 5 Years… The nano is the world’s first powerful mini computer with multi-touch screen running an operating system (iOS5). In one of the next generations of nano, I guarantee, we will see bluetooth wireless abilities built in. With bluetooth and the iOS5 operating system any third party (or Apple internal) programmer could design some software to interact with a bluetooth emitting chest strap (that senses heart rate). Bam! You have a heart rate monitor app for the iPod nano.
But that is just in the immediate future as an affordable option for turning the nano into a heart rate monitoring fitness computer powerhouse!
Within 10 Years… The watch, in its basic shape and form, has been around for over 100 years. The nano is already the perfect size. Within 10 years the nano might get a bit thinner, but its basic dimensions won’t change. The computing hardware, however, will continue to “get better” with Moore’s law (number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on integrated circuit doubles every two years). So in ten years we’ll see a much more powerful nano type mini computer on our wrists waiting to be used for real time vital sign monitoring.
The technological improvements in the heart rate monitoring industry have to come in the chest strap (or the like) technology. Let’s be honest, it currently sucks.
Improvements that must be made to chest strap technology in the next 10 years:
- Get rid of the chest strap all together: Either have non invasive (sticker type) bluetooth emitting sensor for the chest or just pick up the signal (somehow) directly in the watch band.
- Increase accuracy and reliability: Even the expensive heart monitors with chest strap and watch combo have dodgy moments. Whether it be the transmission being affected or the actual sensing of heart rate, both will be improved and mastered within 10 years. For sure!
Within 25 Years… Think back 25 years from today. What technology was around? How long ago was iPhone or internet invented? Now think about 25 years from now. Technological innovation is only speeding up. Put on your seatbelt!
In 25 years, the watch will still be around. It will probably be capable of sensing most all your vital signs via sensors in your clothes and surroundings. It will be so much more than I can even imagine – I’m excited! Undoubtedly, it will be able to sync with emergency services departments and third party personal training data centres to give you real time feedback and support.
I think personal health monitoring is a booming industry. I’ve seen all types of different people get excited (like it was a competition) seeing and comparing their health metrics with their friends. In the future we will all know all our health scores and by knowing them, naturally want to compare them. This creates healthy competeion among us to stay healthy and fit. It is what will cure diabetes and heart disease. Knowledge is power and competition makes us care. Do you know your heart rate, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation, lactate threshold or VO2 max? I think soon everyone of us will!