"Jesus Phone 3.0" touches diabetic blogger

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
During Apple's iPhone 3.0 event, the presentation of a mobile-attached blood glucose monitor for diabetic users apparently bored some journalists in the room. However, the demonstration not only revealed Apple's most important leap yet in mobile devices, but also answered the pleas of a diabetic blogger.



Almost a year ago, Amy Tenderich, a San Francisco blogger who maintains Diabetes Mine for people living with diabetes, penned an open letter to Steve Jobs, asking Apple to help apply the design savvy of the iPod to the medical devices that keep millions of people alive.



Speaking specifically about the blood glucose monitors or insulin pumps used by people living with diabetes, Tenderich asked Jobs, "have you seen these things? They make a Philips GoGear Jukebox HDD1630 MP3 Player look pretty! And it?s not only that: most of these devices are clunky, make weird alarm sounds, are more or less hard to use, and burn quickly through batteries. In other words: their design doesn?t hold a candle to the iPod."



"What we need here" Tenderich wrote, "is a sweeping change in industry-wide mentality ? achievable only if some respected Thought Leader tackles the medical device design topic in a public forum." She recommended that Apple start a design contest, or assign the company's design team to create some reference designs, or establish an Apple Med Design School offering courses on consumer design to engineers from pharma companies.



Tenderich's plea was picked up by blogger Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, where it certainly caught Apple's attention. Then nearly a year passed.



Rather than sponsoring a contest or coming up with its own designs, Apple did what it does best: it arranged to put its development tools in the hands of experts in the field who could solve the problem. Rather than making making medical devices look like the iPod, Apple made it easy for devices makers to work with the iPod and the iPhone.



















The new accessory support in the iPhone 3.0 SDK will enable, not just a specific group of medical monitors, but a wide ranges of devices to benefit from the millions of dollars of research and development Apple has put into multitouch interfaces, mobile technology, human interface design, and the iTunes App Store.



Finding a killer app



Apple's original Macintosh was mainly an elegant curiosity until it was launched into the mainstream by the laser printer, a component of Jobs' Macintosh Office strategy to give the Mac a killer application.



Years after Jobs left the company, the Newton Message Pad, Apple's first attempt to deliver a mobile device, failed to ever reach a level of utility that could justify its $1000 price tag. It had no killer applications. When Jobs returned to Apple, he gave Newton a year to turn around and then axed the product when it was clear it needed so much work that it would be obsolete before it could ever find a niche.



In its place, Apple created the iPod as a mobile device with a clear purpose: music playback. After rapidly growing into an empire, Apple parlayed its success into the smartphone market with the iPhone. With iPhone 3.0, Apple is not just adding features to its phone but rather broadening its mobile device platform into an entirely new product category.



The differentiating value of the iPhone isn't that it can be used as a phone. Instead, it's that it can run high quality, secure software that is easy to deploy, resulting in a cheap, high volume market for mobile apps. With the ability to control and record data from USB and Bluetooth devices, the iPhone and its iPod touch sibling are now far more powerful general purpose computers than the Newton, with more mature development tools and a far larger installed base.



A big platform



With 30 million devices now sold, Apple's mobile platform represents a larger cohesive platform than Windows Mobile. That's because the Windows Mobile installed base of 50 million (a large portion of which is now obsolete) is split between touch screen devices run by a stylus and non-sensitive "Windows Smartphone" devices with only button inputs; its various models all use different port connectors, some don't have WiFi, all have different cameras and screen resolutions. The same can be said of Symbian phones and BlackBerry devices.



Apple's unique App Store is being copied by every other phone vendor, but their various models don't all run the same software. Most smartphones only run the operating system version that shipped with the phone, again leaving a fractured installed base. Even Sun's Java ME, an effort to abstract the differences in various phone models, is plagued by incompatible differences and bugs in the various Java runtime implementations on each phone.



That leaves the iPhone and iPod touch among the largest (if not the largest) platforms available for developers to target. It's also the most profitable, despite the fact that software is also the cheapest for users, typically only a couple dollars. Many phone developers have called its software development and deployment tools the best available.



These factors will all combine to enable experts in various fields to develop embedded devices that work with the iPhone, from stereo components to remote controls to gaming devices to medical sensors to bar scanner to diagnostic tools to gym equipment to environmental sensors to security devices and so on. Rather than only putting its resources to work in solving diabetes-related devices, Apple has empowered whole industries to solve their own challenges, using the iPhone as a hub for providing accelerometer input and multitouch controls, a sophisticated human interface with animated display feedback, logging and reporting features with statistics graphing and data visualization, and data upload to a computer or online service.



The pundits who mocked the device as the "Jesus Phone" are now experiencing its second coming.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 109
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,086member
    Second coming, indeed.
  • Reply 2 of 109
    omegaomega Posts: 427member
    The Jesus Phone touched me with its noodly appendage. Not a happy camper.
  • Reply 3 of 109
    banalltvbanalltv Posts: 238member
    Wasn't one of the barriers to a Tablet Mac something to do with reliability for medicine and hospital related use which was seen as one of the main markets for such a Mac?



    If iPod Touches will now be used for medical monitoring and other functions wouldn't a larger TabletPod also find a place in that market now too?
  • Reply 4 of 109
    hattighattig Posts: 828member
    The idea to allow the iPhone / iPod Touch to be used as a Display, Controller and Analyser for other devices, both via USB (on the Dock connector) and Bluetooth is a good one. It's been a while coming (e.g., the Nike+ thing was probably a profitable proof of concept).



    It reduces the bill of materials for the third party devices to being the functional hardware + USB/Bluetooth interface - removing the expensive firmware, display hardware, audio hardware, etc.



    You could imagine electricity meters having a USB port - plug in an iPhone, and the customer's meter readings are read and sent to a central database immediately. Same for parcel delivery, and other everyday data collection methods. When the price analysis is done for replacing whatever solutions they have now (rugged expensive PDAs, or paper!) I'm sure that the iPhone option will come out quite cheap.
  • Reply 5 of 109
    So we are still going to be stuck with horribly designed blood glucose meters interfacing with our futuristic iPods and iPhones.



    I wish Apple would open a design consultancy like Porsche.

    I would love to buy other products designed by Apple but sold by their respective manufacturer.
  • Reply 6 of 109
    boerboer Posts: 16member
    Nica jab at the bored journalists and a well deserved one too. Boy was I embarrased for these "journalists" while reading the liveblogs of the event. Talk about no nose for a good story.



    Thank you AppleInsider for keeping the bar high among daily tech news sites and blogs.
  • Reply 7 of 109
    To those of you out there that think this is a joke? Get real/a LIFE. There are quite a few of us out there that would really NEED this type of App/Device. The companies out there that produce Diabetes Monitors have intentionally left out Apple/Mac saying "there just isn't enough consumer need" for software/devices that hook up with you. I was pretty deflated when I called up (nicely) my monitor's company support line. IF this happens (iPod/Touch/Phone support) it cuts down on lugging around pounds (yes sometimes pounds) of equipment. I have to carry around a stupid diaper bag (thought I got over THAT years ago) in order to lug my "stuff". If it could be crammed down into my iPod/Phone-well,,,,YAY. Diabetes is a disease that doesn't "just happen" (some are born with it) and to see blind folks, deaf folks and other human conditions accommodated-well, it's nice to have this addressed!
  • Reply 8 of 109
    For me, the Johnson & Johnson demonstration was the single "OMG-what-have-they-done" application I saw there. (The Sims? A shooter game? Yeah yeah, whatever, 'seen those, thank you.)



    I was blown away by the implications of that glucose monitor? and by the doctor's words, which I don't recall right now but said roughly "go from planning a daily routine to shaping a lifestyle". That is truly meaningful. Reminded me of that Jobs' speech at Stanford.



    PS: Last but not least, "wow" to the smule guys, too. Pretty cool stuff.
  • Reply 9 of 109
    drboardrboar Posts: 477member
    it seems that the imagination is the only limit to the iPhone

    http://www.faktiskt.se/modules.php?n...wtopic&t=29105



    Here it measures frequency respons by Fast Fourier Transformation. FFT was pioneered by KEF in the 1970s then it costed millions of pounds in equipement.
  • Reply 10 of 109
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    The LifeScan demo was not only boring, it was painful to watch and listen. Anita Matthew did such a bad job presenting the software. There was no enthusiasm, she was clearly reading from a memorized script that was subpar for any taped product announcement, much less an Apple presentation. The idea to walk through the presentation as if we are walking in Maddy shoes was lame. Then it's topped off with statements like, "Maddy's cool iPhone" and "Maddy is now the envy of her friends." I don't even care that she messed up a few times. Who thought that trying to get the audience to connect with the an imagined person for the demonstration was a good idea? The fact remains that while I think the tech is cool, I'm not going to buy this app and ultimately don't care about this app because I'm not diabetic. If you are diabetic or know someone that is you surely don't need a fake person to relate to about the disease.



    (end rant)







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    So we are still going to be stuck with horribly designed blood glucose meters interfacing with our futuristic iPods and iPhones.



    Why is that? They probably just converted a typical glucose meter USb cable over to a 30-pin connector. I'm sure there will be plenty of devices with that setup, but with the 30-pin connector now open in the SDK there is no reason why it can't be more elaborate and/or stylized for the iPhone/Touch.
  • Reply 11 of 109
    Once again a good piece from Prince McLean. It is odd how little has been made by other outlets on this part of the announcement. As I remember there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the SDK was announced and connecting peripherals was not permitted.
  • Reply 12 of 109
    I think this is a very well written and comprehensive view of Apple's strategy (maybe one of the best I've read but don't let it go to your head).



    The "long" case for Apple is as good as any company could hope for. With a pile of cash and a new platform that is quickly becoming adopted for all the reason stated they are positioned to be the next "American Powerhouse" across all industry and certainly on Wall Street.



    The jerks that ran it down with the banks will have a much tougher time in the future. iPhone 3.0 is the "hammer of the gods" to the competition, making a clear statement that copying hardware functionality is folly in the long run.



    The next time it dips, I'm in again no matter what the rest of the market is doing.
  • Reply 13 of 109
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darkestbeforedawn View Post


    As I remember there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the SDK was announced and connecting peripherals was not permitted.



    There was, just as their was plenty of the same when the iPhone was released without an SDK altogether. The SDK and the use of the 30-pin connector were going to come eventually. Trying to build well usually involves building slowly, though I don't think going from having no phone in your product lineup to the device we'll have after two years is really building that slowly. I think we sometimes just expect too much too quickly, and this era isn't going to change that.
  • Reply 14 of 109
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The SDK and the use of the 30-pin connector were going to come eventually.



    True, build slowly but build well. I have always been under the impression that Apple was bumped into announcing the iPhone at MacWorld 2007 due to the Internet speculation that was going to slaughter the share price if they didn't announce a phone. If you look at the iPhone events and move them by 4 to 6 months then I think you see the timings that Apple would have wanted.
  • Reply 15 of 109
    Very nice article!

    It gives you a better view of things that can come and will keep amazing & helping people.

    It is a shame that the journalist took a nap while johnson & johnson representative was on stage.

    They should feel ashamed, I have to accept that it was the first time I realized how much sucks to have that disease and how little I knew about the perils of it.



    The possibilities of the iPod Touch and iPhone are almost endless and only limited by hardware and product live cycle.

  • Reply 16 of 109
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darkestbeforedawn View Post


    True, build slowly but build well. I have always been under the impression that Apple was bumped into announcing the iPhone at MacWorld 2007 due to the Internet speculation that was going to slaughter the share price if they didn't announce a phone. If you look at the iPhone events and move them by 4 to 6 months then I think you see the timings that Apple would have wanted.



    I am under the impression that Apple planned for that announcement. Being a phone sold, at first, to the US market where carrier contracts are common giving potential buyers 6 months heads up about the iPhone would make sure that 25% of the potential buyers (based on a 24 month contract) could keep themselves form signing a new contract before the launch of the iPhone.
  • Reply 17 of 109
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I am under the impression that Apple planned for that announcement. Being a phone sold, at first, to the US market where carrier contracts are common giving potential buyers 6 months heads up about the iPhone would make sure that 25% of the potential buyers (based on a 24 month contract) could keep themselves form signing a new contract before the launch of the iPhone.





    That could very well be correct. I have never factored in the contract part, the speculation at the time was that Apple would become a MVNO. My impression comes from the fact that the iPhone was only demonstrated on stage and that there were no hands-on units available and then the rush of resources to get the iPhone out in time and the delay in Leopard as a result.
  • Reply 18 of 109
    res08haores08hao Posts: 114member
    "apparently bored some journalists". There are no journalists. Just hacks with agendas.



    and nobody gives a fuck what they think.
  • Reply 19 of 109
    Thank you, AI, for this great story. It's reporting like this that sets you apart.
  • Reply 20 of 109
    gmacgmac Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    So we are still going to be stuck with horribly designed blood glucose meters interfacing with our futuristic iPods and iPhones.



    I wish Apple would open a design consultancy like Porsche.

    I would love to buy other products designed by Apple but sold by their respective manufacturer.



    I would absolutely hate if that happened. Nothing IMO wrecks a brand like when great companies start designing crappy products made by crappy manufacturers. Ferrari comes to mind with the junky Acer notebook in ferrari red. That is pure tacky. And Porsche making pens and glasses also tarnishes the brand IMO. Makes it cheap. "I can't afford a Porsche, so I'll get a Porsche pen".
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