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Fitbit Surge to Apple iWatch Considered

Wearable tech entered my life back in 2013, starting with a Fitbit One, a clip on unit that tracks movement. The Fitbit Charge HR was next, followed up by a Fitbit Surge (Thanks Jaeson!). Now 4 years into "quantifying bodily movement, sleep & heart rate" I am starting to consider a platform shift away from Fitbit / Android to an all Apple digital eco-system unification for future emergent computing platforms in our home. Meg is already 2/3 rd's Apple with an iMac, iPhone SE combo & Fitbit Charge HR.

Apple is working on a iWatch technology that will help Meg to track her blood glucose. I have an odd fascination with tracking my blood glucose too, but not one strong enough to justify burning up test strips & pricking my finger regularly, though I would do it if I needed too for a life sustaining medical reason.

Apple has been working on optical skin blood glucose interferometry for more than 5 years in a secret laboratory with 30 engineers and doctors specialized in the interdisciplinary fields needed to developed light based wearable blood glucose tracking, similar to the heart rate tracking done by Fibits & iWatches today.

Technological forecasters are estimating that the iWatch Series 3 or 4 will come equipped with a novel optical blood glucose tracking tech in a specialized band or as part of the back case enclosure skin contact sensor array in the head unit. They also forecast that a Micro-LED display superior to OLED with greater brightness & contrast along with lower power consumption will become the new display tech of late 17 or early 2018 iWatch models.

I was dismissive of the first generation of Apple iWatch, seeing it as both under equipped with features & functionality, poor battery life, a lack of sleep tracking, lack of good water resistance, and relatively high price for a device with a low functional service life as a watch. Its hard to say how long these smart watches will last, but I highly doubt they will endure the test of time as functional wrist pieces like a classical wrist watch.

When Apple launched the second gen. Series 2 iWatch then I started taking the platform more seriously. Radical improvement to the software in Watch OS3 also drew my attention. Perhaps oddly so, since I do not have an iPhone, which is required for the iWatch to work. I like that Fitbits work on iPhones or Android phones or even with full on USB port equipped computers using a small dongle.

The real allure of the iWatch comes from the amazing choices in aftermarket third party band choices, case protectors & optional accessories. There are some really high end offers made of beautiful materials, though I like the strong $20 green double woven heat sealed ballistic nylon Nato Band by south Straps!

Inductive charging is cool, the iWatch charging dock is an elegant solution. The non-sense I go through to charge my Fibit Surge with its strange asymmetrical cable connector & twist strange cable zen issues looks like a mechanical hand maneuver ceremony; this non-sense is ballast by the Surge's remarkable 5-7 days of runtime per charge, usually I charge it for 30 min ever 3rd day! This is in sharp contrast to the iWatch which needs a charge ever other day, and sometime every day depending on use! Short single charge runtime is the weakest point of most wearable tech today! I think 7 days still sounds week given that a classical wrist watch can run for years on a tiny silver oxide cell. I only buy solar power or self winding watches, but gave up adding any to my collection a few years ago, having already amassed more pieces that I could ever practically make use of! I might even engage in a mass sell off of my old watch collection to finance my next smartwatch, likely one from Apple.

Apple builds really high quality hardware, or at least they have a history of building enduring things if you treat their hardware with gentle respect. Wrist watches worn continuously are subject to a lot of abrasion, stresses, impacts & other hazards that can wreak havoc on something made of aluminum and glass. Only the highest end and very expensive Apple watches have a sapphire screen cover or case made of steel or ceramic.

Samsung Note 3 is my phone, not the iPhone SE 128GB that I have been thinking about. I put a screen protector glass, protective case & new battery in the Note 3 to give it some more useful life & protection to insure that it keeps going forward in a functional state. The platform change to iPhone SE will round out the addition of the iMac to my computer collection as stage 2 of 3. Meg will get an iWatch when the required model supports the glucose tracking functionality that will improve Meg's reality in a small but meaningful way!

For now its the lead weight of responsible debt elimination that keeps me on the research phase of Apple products. I have to pay off high interest credit card debt before I can justify needless purchases of any kind. I have a perfectly functional smartphone Note 3 that I sparingly use & a smartwatch deluxe in the Fitbit Surge that also works perfectly. If I did buy an iPhone SE $550 out the door & iWatch $440 with Nato Strap & tax, then I would be shelling out $1000 on new hardware, and my old functional hardware would sit around underutilized. I would also be loosing years of Fibit data, data that I like to look upon periodically. Most critically I would be losing sleep tracking with 3+ days of continuous wear capacity if I abandon the Fitbit platform. It is more of the same for now, thankful to have the nice stuff that I do, optimistic that someday when it makes better sense, when the iWatch is a better device, Meg & I can unify our digital platforms into a single cohesive system. The aim therein revolves around LTS concepts, or long term support. If we both use the same platforms we can share learnings over time, where one of us is weak the other is often stronger, teamwork, together as one married unit united by Love in & through our shared faith in God and Savior Lord Jesus Christ!

Meg & I both wear Fibit's wrist computers to quantify data about our lives that we periodically review on our smartphones, using the Fitbit App for human biological data analytics, thinking about our biological patterns, sleep, heart rate, movements & thinking. Cardio performance improvements increase cerebral blood flow, which staves off age related neurodegenerative declines. Eating healthy & getting enough movement is the key to maintaining the best overall healthy your genome is able to achieve given the environment in which your live. Their are cultural chemical impacts of our food, housing, vehicles & energy choices. When we embrace coal we embrace pollution. When we embrace electronic upgrading we embrace E-Waste problems. Given the rare earth concentration of IT materials, its almost surprising they are not mined as a resource. Think of all the recoverable metals in America's trash dumps, many thousands of tons of aluminum for example! Apple makes their newest iWatch & iPhones and iMacs and MacBooks out of aluminum, the same kind of Aluminum that many people have senselessly thrown in the trash for decades. Recycling is finally starting to catch up with trash. The ideology of trashing something is flawed. Earth consists of systems of systems of chemical energy interactions between matter & energy. We are all made of the same basic 120 elements, or stained with them (radioactive or heavy metal bioaccumulation). No one gets out of here alive, we are all in it together. This is part off why I want to create a digital ecosystem unification in our home, its part of my thinking about ecosystems, software systems, chemical systems & information systems. Everything is related, in deeply intricate ways that are easily dismissed as simplistic by the unsophisticated among us. Like a child, the mind of someone who does not know better cannot help itself. No one has all the answers, we are called to edify one another with encouraging positive words, affirmation, kindness & love, that blind deep love we show towards those who are close, those few people whom we really love. Like a light that emerges, the love between people creates a magical connection that starts in the mind, radiating chemically into the body, positive concepts & ideas creating chemical signaling healing throughout the body, the body mind information chemical network and signaling system that gives rise to self healing skin and other magical biological things like intelligent natural thinking!

No Official Sleep Tracking iWatch's

Lots of third party app options, the charging regime becomes problematic with the iWatch Series 2 according to user comments & reviews online if the end user tries to wear the iWatch to bed! Quasi-ludite-esque people even said things about the RF hazards of having a transceiver radio mounted to your wrist 22/7 for sleep tracking (2 hours for charging using the magsafe wireless inductive charger)

Fitbit's sleep tracking functionality and App level insight analysis feedback turned out to be one of my favorite features of the Fitbit Surge & Charge HR. To lose this functionality seems like one of the greatest costs. Trying to use the iWatch as a sleep tracker gets to another point, the weak battery life even when the iWatchs' are brand new. 48 hours of maximum run time between full to dead, noting that fully charging to 100% causes battery capacity to shrink every time. People who are using the iWatch as a sleep tracker say they charge during showers, meals and other natural break's, keeping a spare (extra cost) charger at work on their desk. Basically bad single charge run time translates into an annoyance, sorta of like range anxiety in the early electric vehicles that could only go about 90mi per charge (Nissan Leaf 2010-2017). There are several sleep tracking Apps, Autosleep seems to be the best one.

iPhone Required

Per debt elimination protocol 926, discretionary expenditures are to be minimized until all high rate debt is gone, naming the paying off of my credit card debt. In order to get an iWatch, even the cheaper Series 1 is $269 before tax or $300 out the door where I live. The iPhone SE that I want would cost me $550 out the door unlocked from Apple or Bestbuy, namely the 128GB version in Space grey. Together such a transition would cost $850. The out of order sequence also violates a precept related to my iMac. Its 256GB backup thumb drive is full and I need a larger backup drive for Time Machine to work correctly, a pending $100 expense. The Tab's on my motor scooter are also almost up, another $100 expense that is right around the corner. I do not make enough income to pay of my high interest debt fast enough to justify adding more debt by needlessly upgrading my cell phone * fitness tracker. Furthermore the Fitbit Surge is a better fitness tracker, sleep tracker, and I like the industrial electrically efficient design too, though it is a bit clunky. I feel like the iWatch would have the same kind of bulk on the wrist, something that would cause me to not want to wear it all the time anyway. Some people have noted that the back of the iWatch presses into their wrist with too much force to the point of causing soreness, due to the convex shape of the rear sensory array charging face back case design.

Meg First

Meg gets the first iWatch, the one that support glucose tracking with some kind of optical interferometry band or sensor package. I am sure she will want the smaller 38mm version, having already described the Fitbit Charge HR as "Too bulky". I grew up wearing a digital sports watch on my left wrist. Carol Mayo gave me one for my 7th birthday, a yellow Casio model that operated until I was 15 on its OEM battery. She purchased it from Costco and gave it to me out of her benevolence, she was one of the kindest people I have even had the pleasure of knowing, God rest her soul, Amen! I have been wearing wrist watches nearly continuously for 26 of my 33 years alive. Having a time reference point gives me a sense of peace. I know I have written that the arbitrary divisional units of time are essentially silly, especially given that our calendar lacks precision against reality, we have a leap year every 4 years to account for this, but having a time system makes life easier to follow, like a universal reference point. Timing is very important in information technology, telecommunications, governments, businesses, schedule management, and other aspects of life in transportation, finance, education. Time is one of those civilization wide technologies, concepts, shared ideologies.


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