Why the iWatch could truly be “the next big thing”

Apple’s first wearable device will likely feature health tracking functions that will advance this technology and push adoption, much like what the company accomplished for speech recognition through Siri. While rumors are somewhat contradicting, the device purportedly called iWatch MIGHT have an opto-electronic sensor to measure blood glucose levels constantly. Now if that is true, then I have no doubt that Apple will stay the world’s most valuable company for quite some time. 

Tens of millions of Americans have diabetes today, numbers are growing. It doesn’t look much better across the globe. If I could see my glucose levels on my wrist constantly (right next to the time and my next appointment), without needing to withdraw blood every time I want to measure it (as diabetics do it today), then that would increase my chances of a longer life substantially. I would learn the impact of certain food on my glucose levels much quicker than I realistically can today, and accordingly I could adjust my insulin dosis much more accurately. A quick look at my watch 2 hours after lunch would tell me how those carbs I ate kicked up my glucose levels. At the end of the day, we’re all humans, and humans are lazy. Yes, one can measure glucose levels frequently today, but it takes discipline to do that to the extent one should. 

It would not only benefit diabetics, though. Seeing the impact of that bag of chips or glass of coke on your blood glucose levels, blood oxygen levels and blood pressure, just by looking at your watch, would help ANYONE understand the digestive system better and make us change our self-destructive habits that the food industry has taught us over the decades. The impact of that empowerment on our overall health and the health insurance system as a whole would be tremendous. It could save the public healthcare sector billions. The estimated total economic cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, a 41% increase from 2007.

I don’t know if those rumors about the Apple wearable are true. But I understand why Apple is going in that direction. The move could, once again, disrupt an entire industry and impact our lives the same way the introduction of the iPhone, the first “consumer smartphone”, did in 2007. Time to stock up on Apple stock folks!

6 things I will never understand about the US of A

While I’ve come to slowly appreciate certain peculiarities about the American lifestyle and culture, there is still a number of things I fail to comprehend and adapt to. Probably for life. Here’s my top 6 – in no particular order, really…

1) Americans queing for Starbucks. And Starbucks only. 
There is a queue of maybe 12 coffee cravers in front of the coffee shop with the ubiquitous green coffee logo, but nearly nobody waiting in line right across, even though the competitor serves… Starbucks coffee. Can you really be so stuck in your ways to prefer waiting in line?

2) Parking spots wasting space
Despite all the technological advancements that mostly come to life in this very country, curbside parking is still regulated by posts with coin slots (ofr, the more “advanced” version: posts with credit card slots), one for two spots, with spots so large that two of them could easily fit three vehicles. But no, you can’t make use of that space, as the posts will blink madly at you if you dare try… What a waste of precious parking space!

3) Plastic bags so weak that you need two for an average load
I think one can still claim that Americans by and large don’t care too much about the environment. Take supermarkets. The plastic bags that are used for packing are typically so weak that the staff is forced to use two-in-one! Like, always! Even when just putting eggs and bread in. Talking about waste…

4) Flight attendants showing you how to buckle up
Granted, this is not only an American thing, but… Really? Do you really have to show how to use a seat belt? I’m wanting to approach a flight attendant next time I fly and ask how that buckling up thing worked again – just after they showed everyone. I really am wanting. 

5) Rooms cooled down so much…
…that people start putting heaters under their desks in offices. This is one I’ve come to experience shortly after I started traveling the US. There almost seems to be a reciprocal relationship between outside and inside temperature. Rather than making it warmer inside the hotter it gets outside (obviously at a lower overall level), Americans love to cool down their offices more and more the hotter it gets. Such like when you’re outside you wanna be naked, and wearing a winter coat when you’re inside. I mean think about it. That’s like a movie theater turning up the volume of the movie so much that they decide to hand out headsets to everyone to protect their ears. And when wearing, the volume is suddenly so soft that people start turning up the volume of headset again. And to protect from that volume, …

6) Coffes filled to the rim
So you ask your barista to “leave room for milk”. You’ll get maybe 5mm less coffee than the cup’s rim. You ask him or her to “leave AMPLE room for milk” and they throw in another mm. Ask to “only fill the cup 2 thirds” and they might leave out just enough coffee so you can carry the cup over to the milk counter without spilling, where you end up emptying the rest of the coffee you never wanted into the trash can/bag. Yep. Happening all the time. The smallest size at SB is “tall”, which is 12 (!) ounces. That’s a LOT of coffee…

Can anyone relate? I could probably go on if I thought about it more. But hey. Don’t get me wrong, I still like living here. It’s just that… AAAARGHHH!