Prediction: Apple will take it to the bank once again. With the much publicized and well documented release of the Apple Watch, they’re proclaiming just how well they understand their users and more importantly, their customers’ purchase behavior. The wearable itself, this gleaming piece of wrist candy, is almost inconsequential. Those in technology media that don’t like companies named after fruit, have already started the death knell of this new wunderkind. It needs to be tethered to an iPhone. Its battery will run down in less than 24 hours. Users will struggle to access miniature apps with their fat fingers while running or driving. And you, yes even you, will want one. That’s because Apple is now focused on becoming a luxury retailer for better or for worse.
Of course you don’t NEED one. Apple knows that. You know that. The entire wearables market knows that. But you want one. You want one in the same way watch lovers want a $10,000 Rolex Sea-Dweller watch that works 4 kilometres under the ocean surface. You will NEVER be 4 kilometres underwater, but you want that prestige that comes with being able to do it.
You almost have to pity poor Pebble. The Kickstarter record-breaker got to the wearables dance early not once, but twice. Yet they could easily be left out in the hallway. So what if their batteries last a full week. The reality is Pebble will never be as sexy as Apple.
It’s fair to say the history of “wearable tech” is a few hundred years old. Centuries ago, you could get a wristwatch capable of predicting moon phases and dozens of other things. Wearable technology is simply applying the same principle of putting functionality within constant easy reach by attaching the device to your body. What’s more, the latest wearables are starting to do more than just track data. They offer real value to users, with apps dedicated to simplifying, organizing, directing and even enriching your life. Tracking data allows gives you relevant insights that can change your behaviour. That should be enough to keep them out of your junk drawer, and on your wrist, for years.
Experts have been predicting the explosion of the wearables market for years. Now that the technology market leader has stepped in the ring, everyone could benefit – the old rising sea lifting all boats phenomenon. Now that I’ve had a chance to play with a real Apple Watch, even if it is the canned demo, the potential to change, or rather create a new, market is apparent. The real test will be wearing one of them every day, all day and seeing if it does “rock my world“. In the mean time, unfortunately, with Apple’s fashion play, the usability of it all, where my own interests lie, might end up not mattering at all.