Ardit Ballhysa, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“This year’s WatchOS update focuses heavily on staying ‘active and healthy’, two elements that are paramount to the success of a wearable device.
“WatchOS 9 builds on the Workout app by providing users with easier access to metrics while working out and improving fitness tracking options, especially for running, hiking, high intensity interval training (HIIT), and functional strength training. The update also gives users the ability to create custom workouts.
“The running sports mode received the most significant upgrade, with three new running metrics: Vertical Oscillation, Ground Contact Time, and Stride Length. These will allow Apple to better compete with rivals Garmin and Polar by providing deeper insights into runners’ performance—such as how efficiently they run in single sessions, alongside highlighting trends and patterns over time. However, Apple has gone one step further than its rivals by offering these features through the Apple Watch alone, without requiring accessories strapped to the body.
“Health tracking is significantly improved with this year’s OS update. Sleep Stages provides essential sleep insights by tracking the stages of the users sleep from Core, Deep Sleep, and REM, providing a much needed update to the Apple Watch’s current lacklustre sleep tracking capabilities.
“WatchOS 9 also builds on the atrial fibrillation (AFib) detection functionality on the Apple Watch by introducing AFib History, a similar feature introduced by Fitbit last year. AFib History is an FDA-cleared feature that tracks the frequency of AFib over time and sends weekly notifications to users with key insights into their history and factors influencing AFib.”
According to GlobalData’s report from 2019, ‘Wearable Tech – Thematic Research’, the wearables market was worth nearly $23 billion in 2018 and was expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% to reach $54 billion by 2023. An update for this report is expected in Q3 2022.