Apple and the Future of the Smartwatch

19th September 2014

Unless you’ve been living under a rock without a 4G signal for the past couple of weeks, you can’t help but have heard about the latest products that Apple introduced at their event on the 9th September. The iPhone 6 and their as-yet-unnamed watch arrived to much fanfare generating a great deal of interest, particularly surrounding the “iWatch”.

Late to the Party?

Apple’s watch is not the first smartwatch on the market and by no means the first wearable, however it is Apple’s first foray into the word of wearable technology. Have they been sluggish in getting their wearable to market or have they been calculated in their approach? Either way it won’t stop people rushing out to get their hands on the hot property from the cult tech giants.

Standard Issue Apps

The full capabilities of their smartwatch have not yet been detailed, however we do know that the watch will communicate with other Apple devices enabling the wearer to make use of texts, emails, Siri and a whole host of apps. The apps that were featured alongside the watch at the Apple presentation included Health, Calendar, Weather, Apple Pay and Apple Maps. These apps just scratch the surface of what the watch will be able to do though, as more developers begin producing apps for the smartwatch, the device’s true potential will be revealed.

Pushing the Limits

As mentioned, Apple’s watch is not the first on the market, however Apple aims to take the wearable in a direction that hasn’t been explored by current smartwatches. We’ve only seen a glimpse of what it will eventually be able to bring to our everyday lives. The almost “as-standard” health, calendar, messaging functionalities were previewed at the Apple event, but even Apple don’t really know how far the technology can go or the ways in which it can be used.

Smartwatch: The New Smartphone?

Daniel Joseph, writing for The Guardian, believes that the smartwatch will become an integral part of our digital lives. He says, “Just as the phone replaced the desktop at the centre of your digital “hub”, the watch will replace the phone … in due course”. That’s quite a bold claim at such an early stage in the life of wearable technology, however in terms of personal wearables, the smartwatch is at the forefront of the revolution. If the Apple watch is successful, we may see companies striving to one-up each other, producing better smartwatches, pushing their capabilities and opening up their potential.

Time and Place

When we talk about wearables in the work place, particularly in construction, it could be that other types of wearables excel. A smart watch still requires the use of hands, and may not be robust enough to withstand knocks. A headset, like Google Glass may be the answer here. What we should see are a range of products suitable for different situations which should communicate with each other. Not only will new hardware make an appearance, but specially crafted software as well. There will be considerations made by developers for the situations and scenarios it will be used in.

Developing Technology

The release of the Apple watch is exciting, as it should put wearables firmly in the spotlight. App developers will be much more willing to spend time and money on creating progressive and inventive apps for smartwatches too. The ultimate success of the smartwatch is hard to gauge, however the possibilities are huge, and once innovative apps start hitting the app store, we will begin to see how wearables can improve the way we live and work. The success of the smartwatch doesn’t depend on Apple, it depends on the developers.