What is it?
The Apple Watch is Apple’s highly anticipated Smart Watch. At first glance, it just looks like a sleek new watch, but there are many cool features to be explored. It is also a personal assistant, a trainer, a payment method, an extension of your phone and a whole new industry.
What makes it awesome?
The first thing you notice when you look at the Apple Watch is the retina display that acts as a crystal-clear window into the new device. The pressure-sensitive Force Touch (think right-click), of the flexible retina display, is able to distinguish between light taps and deeper pressure. The different sensor capabilities allow you to do things like, pause or stop a song, select different watch faces, search an address in the maps app, and much more.
On the side of the watch there are two user inputs; a button to access your contacts, and a Digital Crown. The Digital Crown brings some familiarity to the device; it looks like a crown you would find on a traditional watch to set the time and date, but it also solves a fundamental problem. How do you zoom and scroll through your content without obstructing it with your fingers? The Digital Crown allows the user to zoom in and out, scroll through content, and input data. Then, simply push it like a button and you are back on your home screen.
The watch also features haptic feedback, or simply put, it vibrates a light tap on your wrist when you get a notification instead of a traditional vibration or sound notification. The vibrations can be customized to the notification, and localized within the device. For example, with the new mapping feature, you can program directional buzzes. You can set it to buzz on the left side of your wrist to tell you to make a left turn, or buzz rapidly to let you know that you’ve arrived at your destination.
The Apple Watch also includes more basic features, like storage for music, a battery that should last you all day, inductive charging, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a heart rate monitor. It comes in a variety of materials including aluminum, stainless steel, and gold. These models cost anywhere from $450 CAD to $22,000 CAD.
How will it change the world?
- Health Care: The Watch will synch up with Apple’s new HealthKit app to potentially allow for the recording of its user’s heart rate, blood pressure, hydration and blood sugar monitoring. It is conceivable to see the watch being used in the health care system as a way for doctors and nurses to keep tabs on their high risk patients.
- Fitness and Athletics: The Apple Watch Sport could become an active competitor in physical fitness and athletic performance monitoring. There are apps in development that will detect weight, hydration and sweat levels, as well as apps that will analyze your swing, throw, jump, etc. The Apple Watch has the potential to change the way athletic professionals, and novices alike, train and perform.
- Automatic Payments: The Apple Watch is going to take Apple Pay to the next level. Eventually, the watch will be connected to many retailers’ point of sale systems. This will allow the Apple Watch user to approve a payment simply by tapping on the face of the watch, eliminating the need to pull open an app.
It is becoming more apparent that the era of wearables is here, and that the world is getting excited about it!