Pre-orders are in and the Apple Watch will be arriving in consumers’ hands any day now. Although everyone is still making predictions on if, when and how many consumers will adopt Apple Watch, it is safe to say that the wearables revolution is already here.
It makes sense that the watch is the next big thing to fully cross over to the digital universe. After all, the watch has been a source of information (telling time and date, and other things) for quite a while.
Watches are a timeless item that have literally existed since the dawn of time. The first wrist watch was created in 1812 for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples. Since then wrist watches have successfully continued to evolve, relying on technology to keep them up to speed with the next generation of users.
In today’s ‘time’, the divergent path for the watch may be that it is a way to connect and be closer to other people – a function that has been held tightly by the phone for centuries. This is where the debate gets hot. Will the watch become successful at expanding beyond its functional use to become a channel for communication? We know that the watch will not likely replace the mobile phone (talking into a watch gets old pretty fast). However it has some distinguishing characteristics that make it special as a personal device. It is always touching the user and it functions in a silent, personal way that doesn’t have to be shared with the public.
The first step for the digital watch, however, is making sure that it still functions as intended, and that it provides its own value separate from the mobile phone. The mobile phone did usurp its function for a little while, even though pulling out the phone to tell time was inconvenient. Apple, at a cost that puts it in the luxury category, is setting up the watch to not be a throw away item. For the average consumers, makers will need to do a better job at designing the device to fit into people’s lifestyles. We know that haptics is part of the equation to making the connected digital watch intuitive to use.
Once we get past this point, we’ll have another platform to explore for creating deeper, more meaningful communications that will impact how we connect with others. Beyond that it’s exciting to see another platform emerge that will change consumers’ proximity to becoming fully immersed into the digital world.