puck

In a roundup on health-related smartphone accessories, AllThingsD drew our attention to the Scanadu Scout, which it described as a kind of real-life Tricorder.

Created by a Silicon Valley startup, the Scanadu Scout is a small puck that you place on your forehead for 10 seconds, and the sensors inside measure your heart rate, skin/body temperature, oxygen saturation levels, respiratory rate, blood pressure, ECG and emotional stress.

All of this data is then sent to the smartphone app (iOS or Android) via Bluetooth, where you can analyze and track the information.

That reminded me of what Apple CEO Tim Cook – who sits on the Nike board and famously wears a Nike+ Fuel Band – said back in May when ATD asked him about his interest in wearables …

I think the wrist is interesting. It is somewhat natural. I think for something to work [on the wrist], you have to convince people why it is worth wearing them. The sensor field is going to explode.

Cook is a man noted for care in what he says. His immediate linking of a watch to sensors, and to using uncharacteristically dramatic language, suggests to me that it’s pretty much a given that the iWatch is going to major on sensor technology.

The Scanadu Scout packs a lot of health-related sensor technology into a very compact form. About the size of … oh, what’s the comparison I’m trying to think of here?

scout-hand

Of course, there are all kinds of theories out there about what form and functions an iWatch might offer. But combine Scout-style sensors with a Pebble-style display, then add in a microphone and speaker to access Siri from the watch, and finally let Mr. Ive apply his magic to both hardware and software design, and it seems to me you’d have a product that even those of us who haven’t worn a watch for years might find hard to resist.

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