We have heard for a while that OPPO are looking to get into the smartwatch game and according to a rumour today they are shooting for the stars with their very first attempt.
The upcoming smartwatch, complete with square watch face, will include the ability to measure the wearers ECG — something that very few smartwatches are able to do. We are seeing many smartwatches attempt to focus more on the health of the person wearing it with Fitbit enabling sleep apnoea tracking recently but ECG remains in the too hard basket for many manufacturers.
Although OPPO have never made a smartwatch before their first one will no doubt be a result of watching others, waiting on the maturation of technology and a lot of R&D from them and they will look to introduce something extremely competitive from the very first offering.
What remains to be seen is firstly how accurate these ECG measuring devices are and secondly what they do with the information. Will the manufacturer include an app that will analyse the ECG? Auto-reporting ECG devices, even in clinical practice, are fraught with inaccuracies? How will a manufacturer get an app like this past the regulatory bodies? What will the user do with this information? If the watch is not as accurate as it should be false positives could be reported, resulting eventually true positives being ignored. So many questions remain unanswered, not just for this smartwatch but for all ECG-toting smartwatches.
It is certainly a medico-legal minefield but with the capabilities there it could be used for good. It is great to see OPPO using their extremely successful hardware and R&D teams to produce a high end smartwatch but how useful a feature such as ECG will be will depend on how accurate the data is and how it is used.
I am looking forward to seeing what they produce, what it runs on (Wear OS?), and how it functions as an everyday wearable. As a consumer more options is always a good thing. Hopefully it will be launched soon, possibly alongside the Find X2.