What is necessary?

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Smartwatches are still in their infancy. Wait a few years as components get smaller and batteries get better. There’s a big distinction between useful and necessary. Smartwatches are or could be useful for most people but they’re not necessary. I could make the same argument about smartphones. Yes we might feel lost without them, but are they really necessary? That said, in a few years they will be as necessary as many other things, such as electricity, that at one time was a new-fangled oddity.

And then there’s the rumour about Apple developing a non-invasive glucose sensor for the Apple Watch. Ask any diabetic if that wouldn’t be useful. Bob

I agree with Bob in that smart watches are necessary and neither are phones. Then again, neither is music, the TV, movies or books so that argument is moot.

However, I also agree that there is an area where smart watches could become ‘necessary’. Apparently a heart attack can be seen with the right equipment up to 24 hours before it happens and this is where a smart watch could change everything. My understanding is that the blood sensors required are already easily achievable and at that point many, many things change off the back of it.

It’s a bit like when we heard about baby mats that could sense if a child had stopped breathing. They were not too expensive and once I had heard about it, I was stuck in the “If only I had spent £65 on a baby mat” mentality.

Would you spend £250 on a device that could sense a heart attack and check your general health? I would for sure even though there will of course be people for whom such technology would represent a threat to their profits.

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4 replies

  1. Moot not mute my man! (Or maybe language is shifting enough that my descriptivist self has to give in 😉

    Besides the cost, the other downside to such a watch is admitting that it might be useful – that nod to our own mortality would be tough!

    • My word, that is terrible! Now moot. Thanks😊

      • I make all kinds of phonetic typos (where I’ll end up typing a third word that sort of sounds like the others), and then this odd m/b swap where I’ll switch “me” for “be” say, or vice versa. Not mute for moot for some reason, I guess for me the vowels are less “swappable” than they are for others.

        Lately – hopefully without raising too many questions about my mental health- I’ve been thinking a lot about this subconscious me, how there seems to be almost a personality in here, different than the rational / inner voice me (the one that tries to take credit for BEING me, though I think I got over that via Dan Dennett’s “Consciousness Explained”)

        This “other me” might correspond a bit to the Id as drawn by Freud – or the popc culture “inner child”, one that throws tantrums when things seemed aligned against it – that thwarts my attempts at smart eating by provoking cravings – and, FINALLY getting to the point – I wonder if it’s the background processor that lets me read (well, skim) and write very quickly, but not always accurately (“I want to live life like I type; fast, and with lots of mistakes”)

  2. Interesting question on the medical sensor arena. In countries like Canada and the U.K., a general sensor could save the country/government billions. It’s almost always cheaper to treat before rather than after. Of course this assumes that the medical regulatory agencies will approve it. Because of course no human being other than a doctor is capable of understanding what these devices read. For example, in Canada, in some provinces, home sleep apnea testing is not available. Sometimes I’m amazed that we can buy glucose meters. But I digress. And on the other side, there are the medical industry companies. Some will want this so they can make products. Some won’t because they won’t be able to sell as many products to specialists, like doctors and hospitals. And on the third side, there’s us, who want access to this information without having to always make an appointment or fall ill or worse. Oh yes, the insurance companies. I’ll bet they’d offer a premium reduction for anyone wearing such a device. Mind you, you’d probably have to be connected so that they were sure that you were wearing it. And that tracks your location and provides other information of interest to other companies. But again I digress. I’m sure there’s yet another side, but you get the idea.

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