The rumor is full of predictions about the upcoming Apple Watch, Series 4, which could be announced in September 2018. I will evaluate the possibilities and probabilities.
The most seductive speculations I’ve seen relate to physical design and health monitoring. However, there are some interesting secondary features that are common to the intelligence that has been collected. So let’s go.
Apple Watch Physical Design
A rumor that I have expected is around the display. The round display stands are an anachronism, born from the time of rotating needles and models of inherited watches. A modern smartwatch needs to display a lot of graphical and textual data, and only a rectangular display makes sense.
That said, Apple has kept the same basic dimensions for four models: the series 0,1,2 and 3. The semiconductor technology has changed a lot since the design of the 0 series was frozen in 2014. I guess that for jazz just like the others, the Series 4 will become thinner and last much longer. How can it be?
It does not take much time to shave a millimeter or two from the thickness of the Apple Watch to make it cooler. But if the logic board and the associated circuits and sensors may be small (presumably) and the case is slightly larger, the x, y dimensions of the battery could be extended. (Or supplemented by the bracelet, but I’ll come back to it later.) In other words, for the volume of the battery: [new] (x + dx) * (y + dy) * (z-dz) > [old] X Y Z.
Of course, if the case is larger, a larger screen would consume more energy. That is unless Apple has found a display technology using less energy than OLED. Apple can have exactly that in MicroLED. This would probably outweigh the modest increase in the area of exposure.
I also think that Apple would like to dramatically improve the speed of charging the battery so you can perform sleep monitoring while being fully charged (for an additional 24 hours of use) when the user is in. the shower cycle/dress up in the morning. This is the only load/usage cycle that is suitable for sleep monitoring.
A sleeker design, longer battery life, and new health monitoring features would likely lead owners of older models to opt for a new Apple watch.
Apple Watch Health Surveillance
There is a compelling case to make (no pun intended), that Apple would like to move some functions to the monitoring group. This presents all sorts of benefits, not to mention the opportunity to increase the internal battery. I most likely see it because the complaints about the Apple watch include the battery life and the display still off.
A blood glucose measurement system depends on the measurement of human sweat. (Glucose is a function of the glucose of perspiration.) But the back of the Apple watch is absorbed by sensors for pulse monitoring. I think that it is unlikely that the location and the materials on the back side are conducive to the measurement of perspiration. A special watch strap with appropriate materials would be a good solution, simplify the design of the Apple Watch and avoid the need for the FDA’s approval of the watch itself. This is a tedious process that could affect the launch date desired by Apple.
Last year, Bloomberg reported that Apple is working on an ECG capacity for the Apple Watch. This raises the issue of FDA approval, but it also fits well with the pulse monitoring system already saved lives.
If Apple Watch needs a minor, but sexier overhaul, it will likely need to include one of these two new health measurement systems so that people are really excited and stay ahead of the competition. Until now, however, it was not too difficult.
I saw a camera mentioned for face recognition and selfies. I give a very low probability. This adds too much technology and physical volume to make it worth it. I give a higher probability to solid state, haptic side buttons. This would simplify the design, make it more reliable and free up space inside the case.
That’s my prognosis (and even my best hopes) for the next gen of Apple Watch, Series 4. My O series looks ready for the museum after 3.5 years, so I’m eager to see how everything It happens.