A few years ago my friends compared the step counts when they asked for mine.
"Oh no, I worry about my privacy," I told them, acting high and powerful. "I don't need these money grabbers in the valley to track my whereabouts or to know anything about my health. I never set that up."
My friends laughed at me. "Your iPhone does it automatically, dummy," said one, and opened my phone's health app, which I had conveniently moved to a group of unused standard apps along with tips, books, watches and whatever demonstrate.
I, the doll, was down to earth. I wish I could pretend I held onto my guns. But no. I got hooked right away. Did I run so little? Oops, do it better.
Before the pandemic broke out, I would commute to work on foot for months. I wandered through Brooklyn every morning over that district's famous bridge to Fortune's offices in Manhattan's South Street Seaport. On the way I listened to podcasts, music or let my mind wander. (I've crossed the river of old too many times …)
I kept the habit. While I'm no longer living in the city – ah, suburban life, we'll meet again – I still go for an hour's walk in the morning. I gave up podcasts in favor of tree watching and audiobooks. For the curious, I am part of the river birch and listen to the financial work of the late David Graeber: Debt: The First 5,000 Years. (Thanks to my colleague David Morris for shaming me for the choice.)
Yesterday's Apple event strengthened my interest. The focus was on the debut of two new Apple Watches. Since no iPhone could draw all the attention this year, the two new models – the Premium Apple Watch Series 6 and the smaller Apple SE – shone. The bells and whistles of the former – a blood oxygen level sensor, an altimeter with an altimeter, and an always-on face display – add to the base price: $ 400 versus $ 280.
The pandemic has only reinforced the case for such personal health technology. I suspect I am one of many potential customers considering a similar purchase this season. But I'm not sure which one to buy yet.