The Verily smartwatch is a ‘real’ medical device that does more than just tell you your heart rate. Developed by Alphabet’s Life Sciences division, the health-focused “investigational device” aims to “passively capture health data” for medical studies.
With the ability to track “relevant signals for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders, and other areas,” the device unobtrusively collects medical data and has been designed with the following key features:
- Multiple physiological and environmental sensors are designed to measure relevant signals for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders, and other areas. Examples include electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, electrodermal activity, and inertial movements.
- A long battery life of up to one week in order to drive better user compliance during longitudinal studies.
- Large internal storage and data compression allow the device to store weeks’ worth of raw data, thus relaxing the need to frequently sync the device.
- A powerful processor supports real time algorithms on the device.
- The firmware is designed to be robust for future extensions, such as over-the-air updates, new algorithms, and user interface upgrades.
- The display is always on so that time is always shown. The display is low power and high resolution for an appealing look and a robust user interface. Note: currently, only time and certain instructions are displayed. No other information is provided back to the user.
On battery life, Verily promises “a long battery life of up to one week”. They also promise enough storage to keep a “weeks’ worth of raw data” encrypted on the device.
With no confirmed price yet, the builders at Verily seem more focused on research rather than end-user sales. That explains why the ‘real’ smartwatch does not have any flashy features. Besides displaying time and date, the watch also beams data to Verily’s cloud infrastructure. Looking to the future, The Alphabet’s Life Sciences division have confirmed that the smartwatch is “not for sale,” instead the watch will be either be given out to participants in Verily’s medical studies or used in several studies like the “Personalized Parkinson’s Project.“.