Smartwatch Sales Are Tanking

Well, at least if you believe the latest click-bait headline from TechCrunch, the smartwatch revolution could be over before it even started.

The article points out that the new Watch was only available for the last 2 weeks of the quarter, and everyone was waiting for it, so it depressed sales. Fitbit sales are skyrocketing because people want a device to help improve their health:


(source)

Apple is trying to entice that market with its new release, so we should expect quite a bit of growth.

Anyway, as I pointed out last year, health and safety will drive sales.

Personally, I’ve used my Watch to help me lose some weight:

Now I’m using my Watch to help train for my first 10k:

10k_training

Apple Watch: Last Week I Walked 68 Miles

Yesterday (Sunday) I finished my 8th week using my Apple Watch to track my movement. Last week I took 141,849 steps which translates to walking 68.2 miles. I reached a new weekly high of 9325 calories burned because I cycled at the gym 3 days. I’m keeping my daily goal at 1090 calories because on days that I only walk I barely make my goal. Although I was only down 9 pounds when I published my last blog on Thursday afternoon, I was officially down 10 pounds this morning.

Weekly Numbers

Weekly Chart

Apple Watch: 8 weeks and 9 pounds

I bought my Apple Watch on July 6th and it’s now the end of August. In my first 4 weeks I lost 5 pounds. Another four weeks weeks later and I’m down an additional 4 pounds, for a total of 9 pounds. Most weight loss programs usually promise 2 pounds a week, and I’m averaging about a pound a week, so I probably shouldn’t be overly excited, but for some reason, I am! After all, all I did was walk the weight off, at least until about a week ago, and I didn’t change my diet. However, in the past week I did stop with my weekly ice cream and most sugary drinks. I also started indoor cycling.

During August, I should also mention that I had a 4 day vacation in Nantucket where I ate my way through the trip and partook of the homemade ice cream at the famous Juice Bar. I didn’t weigh myself after the trip but I definitely felt heavier.

Last Wednesday (August 19th) I did 16 minutes on an indoor bike before I got bored. I love to bicycle but indoor cycling can be extremely boring. According to the Apple Watch, however, it’s a lot better than simply walking. My average heart rate was a lot higher and my calories burned per minute was much better. My heartrate when walking is usually a little over 100.



My short cycle session had my heart rate higher:

So, for Friday I lined up a podcast and queued up some music. I managed 40 minutes before I became tired. I burned about the same amount of calories as a 90 minute walk. For comparison, here are my two activites:

 

This week I added indoor cycling to my routine 3 days a week (it’s Thursday so I’ve only gone twice). I’d like to make it 4 days but I’m pretty tired after 40 minutes so I’m taking a day off between workouts for a couple weeks.

Summary of Current Exercise Plan

To summarize, I’ve now eliminated sugary drinks and ice cream (almost :-)) from my diet and I have two different workout days:

Cycle Day

  • Walk 5 miles (about 10,000 steps)
  • Indoor Cycling Monday, Wednesday, Friday for 40 minutes

Walk Only

  • Walk 10 miles in 2-3 sessions (about 20,000 steps)

I’ll stick with this for 2 or 3 weeks then make adjustments if my weight doesn’t decrease further.

By the way, I find Apple’s Activity app to be quite motivating. There are no days off!

August Activity


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Apple Watch: Passbook at Airport

I used the Passbook feature of the Apple Watch today at the airport. I forgot to try the QR code at checkin but I don’t think it’ll work there because my wrist won’t fit under the reader. However, going through the TSA security line was a breeze. The QR code remains on the entire time the QR code is visible. In other words, you don’t need to worry about it turning off as you twist your wrist above the scanner. After check-in, I can now throw my phone in a bag and not worry about it. The Apple Watch doesn’t need to come off during the scan either. Traveling became a little bit easier today.

By the way, Passport does work with movie tickets too, in case you’re looking for a more frequent use.

Apple Watch: 4 weeks and 5 pounds

I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch for 28 days. This morning I was quite stoked when I got on the scale and saw that I was down 5 pounds since I bought it.

A day of activity:
A day of activity

Another day of activity:

A day of activity

I’ve met my Move Goal every day since my purchase. I set my Activity Goal to moderate at the Apple Store which initially put me at 760 calories daily, around 13,000 steps. After two weeks, the Watch offered to increase my goal to 990 calories per day when it calculated that I was walking more than my initial goal. That pushed me up to around 18,000 steps. That works out to be about 8.5 miles. On many days, I end up doing a bit more walking. However, on some busy days, I barely make it. On one occasion, I even paced around the house to burn my last 30 calories.

My 20 days of activity:
A day of activity

While walking is a great exercise, it does require a significant amount of time. I usually take two long walks every day, one in the morning and one in the evening. I’m going to keep up the pace for another month and see if I lose any additional weight. If not, I might start a Couch-to-5k program. This morning, at the start of a new week, I was bumped to 1090 move calories per day.

Weekly Summary:
A day of activity

Apple Music’s Killer Feature

The killer feature is that it works with Siri. Just wake up Siri and have her play an artist or song.

"Play some Rolling Stones"
"Play Madonna"
"Play Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone"
"Play Hotel California"

Just Add Apple Watch

The Apple Watch also works as remote for the iPhone, which allows you to go hands-free. Anyone stuck doing the after dinner cleanup will appreciate this feature. A twist of the wrist and say:

"Hey Siri, play some U2"
"Hey Siri, next song"
"Hey Siri, pause music"

Of course, Siri isn’t perfect. I can’t get her to play “Kashmir by Led Zeppelin”.

Finally, I have to say that I like using Siri as a remote so much that now I wish I could use her to control my Apple TV.

In the Future Everyone will Wear a Smartwatch

There has been much discussion on the need for smart watches like the Apple Watch.  People have a hard time believing that a large market exists. I can’t say with certainty that you’ll be wearing an Apple Watch a decade from now but you’ll definitely be wearing a smart watch from Apple, Google, or some new kid on the block.

The short answer is health and safety, both of which are priceless. We’d give anything for a bit more of either one, and future smart watches will offer plenty of both.   I’ll briefly summarize each below.

Health

In the first generation Apple Watch, we have heart rate and daily steps monitoring.  Future devices, from Apple or Google, will likely add  blood pressure, skin temperature,  in short, we’ll be better able to monitor our bodies.

Safety

Many of us can image being in a scenario where we might need quick access to a phone, say a car or skiing accident, or perhaps after slip and fall, for example.  Futures watches will keep our lifeline to help on our wrist. Your slow or irregular heart  could be a signal for your watch to automatically dial for help, transmitting your location.

In summary, you might not be wearing an Apple Watch but you will be wearing someone’s smart watch.