Smartwatches — A New Day is Dawning
by DuWayne Kloos, VP SCTC
In the July issue of Silveridge Sun I wrote an article entitled, “Using Smart Technology for Better Health” that was intended to help you know more about ‘wearable technology,’ or more specifically, smartwatches. I told you about the top seller, the Apple Watch, but failed to tell you that the Apple Watch coordinates directly with ‘apps’ on the user’s iPhone, and only on an iPhone. Android phones do not work with the Apple Watch. There are of course smartwatches that do coordinate with Android smartphones like models from Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung and others.
On August 11 Samsung introduced a new super high-tech smartwatch, Galaxy Watch4. It’s the first smartwatch to use a new operating system called ‘Wear OS’ developed cooperatively by Google and Samsung, and perhaps the first Android smartwatch to seriously challenge the Apple Watch. Not to be outdone, rumors & leaks began appearing about a newly designed Apple Watch series 7 that’s expected to be released around September 15.
Both of these happenings mean that indeed, “A New Day is Dawning” in smartwatches.
The price of an Apple Watch 7 with all health-related features is expected to remain about the same as their Watch 6 and starts at $399US. Both Samsung Galaxy Watch4 models have the same health-related features and are internally identical. Prices range from $249US to over $400US because of size and sophistication differences.
Both the Apple and Galaxy watches have a fall detection accelerometer sensor that coordinates with a phone app and issues emergency notification options if the wearer is conscious, and if not conscious can enable the victim’s phone to call for emergency help. Also, both Galaxy and Apple smartwatches can do an FDA approved electrocardiogram using the watch’s electrical heart sensor.
Other health-related sensors on the Apple Watch include heart rate, blood oxygen saturation and a “third-generation optical heart sensor.” The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 also has heart rate and blood oxygen saturation sensors, and features (according to Samsung) a new “BioActive Sensor that precisely runs three powerful health sensors—Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis so users can also monitor their blood pressure.”
Technical analyst Brian Heater states that the “Galaxy Watch4 is one of the few smart-watches that can truly go head-to-head with the Apple Watch 6. Like Apple is tied to the iPhone, the Watch4 is explicitly tied to the Samsung ecosystem. It’s not only the best smartwatch for Samsung Galaxy smartphone users, but there’s a strong case to be made for it also being the best Android-compatible smartwatch, period.”
The smartphone information above is typical of subjects discussed at our Silveridge Computer and Technology Club (SCTC) before the Covid 19 pandemic shut down all Silveridge activities in March 2020. SCTC remained in hiatus throughout last season.
SCTC Pres. Carol Folker and myself with the help of our Board of Directors are endeavoring to restart the club in the coming season. Residents are urged to watch for a meeting notice in the December Silveridge Sun when it arrives in their PO boxes. We are hoping that residents interested in staying current with technology—computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.—will help us “reimagine” a Silveridge Computer and Technology Club in which members eager to learn will also be willing to contribute their time and whatever talents they have to make this new SCTC successful.