Pebble Watch Applications for Dentists

Pebble Watch has Hands-Free Applications for Dentists and Doctors

While the Pebble Kickstarter campaign ended with much fanfare on May 18, 2012, as of March 18, 2013 you still can’t get a Pebble watch. But that’s not why I’m writing. I know the Pebble watch will eventually come out by either Pebble or some other company so I’m writing to explain how this watch could be helpful to doctors.

Pebble Watch Notification AlertsAccording to their website, Pebble watches have “notifications, messages and alerts,” for:

  • Incoming Caller ID
  • Email (Gmail or any IMAP email account)
  • SMS on both Android and iPhones
  • iMessage (iOS only)
  • Calendar Alerts
  • Facebook Messages
  • Twitter
  • Weather Alerts
  • Silent vibrating alarm and timer

It’s not just for active individuals or sly students, this is perfect for doctors and dentists who can’t stop to scrub off again after checking their phone or pager. This is similar to the reason Bluetooth technology was developed for Windows authentication – doctors no longer have to press CTRL+ALT+DEL and enter their username and password every time they walk up to a computer. As long as they have their Bluetooth-enabled device, the computer automatically logs them on. It uses a Bluetooth protocol for wireless sensor authentication that is HIPAA-compliant.

Would Pebble watches be HIPAA-compliant? Possibly. A company called MyCareText is already counting on delivering their text messages to doctors wearing Pebble watches and Pebble seems to like their idea. I have to give credit to a dental assistant named Brandon Kollar who works for one of my clients, a local Indianapolis dentist. He wanted to invent a watch that would allow him to get his text messages and Caller ID notifications on a watch via Bluetooth. I didn’t realize this had already been done until I re-watched the video on 3D printing. When I sent him the link, he didn’t reply. He’s always coming up with new ideas so maybe one day he’ll hit on one he can run with – or maybe he can write an app for it.

Pebble Watch SDK

According to Mashable, the Pebble Watch software development kit (SDK) is coming out in April, 2013. A (SDK) is a set of software development tools that allows for the creation of applications for a certain software package or hardware platform. Mashable writes, “In this initial release, the SDK will be fairly limited; developers won’t yet have access to the accelerometer or communication between watchfaces and smartphones.” Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky said in a Kickstarter post, “I know we have communicated very poorly to developers up until this point, but we hope that you’ll understand how important it was for us and for Pebble as a platform to have the initial release of the hardware go well.” More than 40,000 Pebble watches have been built for it’s initial 70,000 backers and of those, approximately 30,000 have shipped leaving backers waiting over 6 months to get their watches. As one commenter on Hacker News (HN) stated, “From a startup perspective, Pebble is an example of how to ruin an opportunity to build a community around a product offer.” Pebble may have inadvertently created both a new market and an opportunity for Apple to strike.

Apple Smart Watches

Another HN post commenter writes, “One thing the Pebble has convinced me of is that smart watches will be a popular product category in the near future. There’s just too much potential, and even my very basic, very early-stage Pebble has already become one of my favorite gadgets.” In case you missed it, Pebble raised over 10 million dollars for a watch that didn’t even exist yet. Pebble wasn’t the first company to develop a smart watch. Sony has the MN2SW SmartWatch and the Ericsson LiveView and Motorola has the MOTOACTV Sports Watch. All three deliver text messages to your watch via Bluetooth from your smart phone, but let’s think for a second. Who is the 800-pound gorilla in the room of mobile devices? When the sleeping giant wakes up to a new revenue source to further tie their dominant platform of iPods, iPhones, and iPads together with a new iWatch, people will be saying “Pebble who?” Apparently this has already happened and Apple will be releasing a smart watch this year (2013). It looks like it will be more like a band with a flexible touchscreen display, but only time will tell.

Why Warby Parker Will Be the Next Apple

Warby Parker, the fashion company specializing in discount, specialty eyeglasses, is in the perfect position to take over the next wave in personal, wearable computing via Google Glass.

After recently raising almost $37 million in venture capital the eyeglasses company, Warby Parker, seems poised to do more than just make ultra-hip eyewear with a side of delicious customer service. Investors are known for looking ahead to future trends and it’s now become obvious that augmented-reality glasses are the new future of mobile devices. The popularity of Warby Parker and Google’s need for an existing market base makes them good partners as product designer, McKay Thomas, pointed out on September 11, 2012, stating, “Like any new piece of hardware looking for its first customer base, Google Glass, Google’s heads-up display device, needs a distribution platform. A platform for Google’s eyeglasses attachment could offer a sales channel, as well as type of social proof that it is acceptable to use the new wearable computer.” Filmmaker, Albert Art, agrees, stating, “IF Google decides to team up with an eyewear company, might I suggest Warby Parker.”

As LeVar Burton once said, “But don’t take my word for it.” Warby Parker is hiring a “Principal Software Engineer, Computer Vision” who can “develop computer / machine vision applications that make our company succeed.”

Why Compare Warby Parker to Apple?

As Marc Andreessen said on August 20, 2011, “Software is eating the world,” and as David Kirkpatrick argued in Forbes, “Every company is a software company.” Warby Parker is no exception. At their very core they are a e-commerce store, which is it’s very nature, software running on a web server, but it’s more than that. They have “virtual try-on” functions on their website that allow you to upload a picture and see what you look like without every touching a frame. They have developed a pattern for making money and an e-commerce blueprint for how to be successful in 2013 and beyond. This includes doing things like hiring directors of Data Science, Software Engineering, and Computer Vision. Nokia was the number one smartphone manufacture for 15 years and until Apple started making the iPhone they were pretty hard to unseat. Warby Parker has already begun to unseat Luxottica in a $16 Billion dollar industry. If they can develop a platform for Google Glass or other wearable, augmented reality applications from Microsoft like Apple did with iTunes, they can create the one-two punch of selling the hardware and the applications developed for them. It’s safe to assume Google will want to do the same with Google Play, but unless they go the route they did of developing their own Nexus smartphones and purchasing Motorola they are unlikely to control the eyeglass market and will need someone like Warby Parker to deliver their products.

As the iDisk Dust Settles

According to Computer World, iCloud is Apple’s replacement for MobileMe, but what is/was MobileMe?

According to Wikipedia, “MobileMe is a subscription-based collection of online services and software offered by Apple Inc. Originally launched on January 5, 2000, as iTools, a free collection of Internet-based services for users of Mac OS 9, Apple relaunched it as .Mac on July 17, 2002, when it became a paid subscription service primarily designed for users of Mac OS X. Apple relaunched the service again as MobileMe at WWDC 2008 on July 9, 2008, now targeting Mac OS X, Windows, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch users. On February 24, 2011, Apple discontinued offering MobileMe through its retail stores. The MobileMe retail boxes are also not offered through resellers anymore. Apple is also no longer accepting new subscribers for MobileMe. At the WWDC 2011, on June 6, Apple announced it will launch iCloud in the Northern Hemisphere Autumn 2011, which will replace MobileMe for new users. MobileMe itself will continue to function until June 30, 2012, at which point the service will no longer be available, although users are encouraged to migrate to iCloud before that date.”

Since iDisk from MobileMe is dead, that leaves services like DropBox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive winners. How does DropBox and SkyDrive differ from Carbonite and Mozy back-up services?

DropBox and SkyDrive are online storage services, but Carbonite and Mozy are online backups. So what is the difference between online storage and online backups? Automation and availability mostly. With DropBox and SkyDrive, you store files on a one-off basis, just as you would copying files to a flash drive, but with Carbonite and Mozy, you set up plans, syncs, and can file version – meaning you can save multiple versions of a file to capture older vs. later files. Essentially, you could use an online storage service as an online backup service, but it would be more work.

Read more about Dropbox for business and how it compares to SkyDrive.