One of the chief reasons I’ve been so excited for the Apple Watch these past few months is the possibility of using it to properly track my movement and exercise day-to-day. Four nights a week I play roller derby, a full-contact sport on quad roller skates, which has proven… difficult for most health and fitness gadgets to track. Steps aren’t tracked nor helpful when you’re talking about wheeling around, nor can most devices be worn without fear of them falling off or otherwise being destroyed.
But two weeks in, not only is the Apple Watch giving me proper tracking data for my full-contact sport — it’s making me healthier all-around.
With Apple Watch, many people (myself included) are experiencing the impact of a health-oriented wearable for the first time ever, with compelling results. There’s no question that Cupertino’s newest product is a gateway device to the quantifiable fitness lifestyle, and it’s good enough on its own that you probably won’t ever need an expensive dedicated heart rate/activity tracker.
So while exercise is truly only part of the equation (hint: diet and sleep play big roles, too), there’s no question that for some people, the “gamification” of tracking their fitness is turning them into more active, healthier people. It’ll be interesting to see the long-term effects that being able to measure their movements and exercises each day will have on users. If Apple Watch can succeed at doing that for even a small percentage of wearers, that’s a big deal.
And just imagine when deeper health monitoring comes into play. When Apple is finally able solve the riddles of the optical glucometer and blood pressure sensor (among others), Apple Watch will be a powerhouse personal maintenance device with a feature set so rich that folks of all ages and all abilities will line up to buy the thing for that its HealthKit aspect alone.