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Apple needs no introduction – be it in the world of Fruits or in the world of Technology. They know, without anyone dictating, to attract customers with their design, value and unique make. Apple Inc. introduced the world to several category-defining products, the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. And once again it is poised to capture the world in 2015 with a revolutionary product that can enrich people’s lives. It’s the most personal product Apple ever made – The “Apple iWatch”.
“We’ve developed multiple technologies and an entirely new user interface specifically for a device that’s designed to be worn. It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design in the press release.
Well from the smartwatch market-end, Apple seems to be a late entrant into the wearables party with various android based smart watches from LG, Samsung, Motorola, Sony etc., playing its rounds already. However I believe no one really bothers when a party begins but everyone buzz about when it ends. By unveiling the Apple watch on September 19, 2014, Apple has poked their rivals to the realization that the real party is just going to start. For us users, guess we have to wait and watch how the consumer electronics giant turns the wearable party on having promised to smartly combine high-end fashion and functionality together into Apple iWatch.
Historical mechanical watches seemed to be the miniature version of our clocks with a round dial and a small round button like thing on the right side to set the time and a buckle strap to comfortably grip around our wrist. But this traditional watch had the sole functionality of reporting its bearer the exact time of the day. What happens when the watch gets smart and functions into interacting with its bearer along with timekeeping? Smart watches happen.
Apple Watch is considered to be the most personal device Apple has ever created considering the fact that this device is not placed in your loose pocket, over-occupied carry bag or specially designed pouch, rather its worn on your wrist. Promising to stay on the wrist of your choice and personal comfort, i.e. right or left, Apple watch is designed in two smart sizes: 38mm and 42mm. With small size come huge complications especially with regard to technology. But guess the Apple guys took the saying: “Big things come in small packages” a bit too seriously and has introduced a revolutionary design and iOS- based user interface to provide effective technical support to the small sized smart-fashion watch.
Apple is known for its uniqueness in all its products, but the question pops up how unique with a wearable? Guess unique to the extent of keeping it traditional yet stylishly smart. The Digital Crown, historically used in watches to set time, in Apple watch is an innovative way to scroll, zoom and navigate fluidly, without obstructing the display. It also serves as the Home button when you push it. Below the Digital crown is a small rectangle button which enlists your contacts and a small touch allows you to contact your friends in seconds. Digital Touch also allows you to send a sketch, a gentle tap, an audio message through Walkie Talkie or even your own heartbeat to your close ones making communication more than a hand few of formal words and namesake forwards.
The apps in the Apple watch take advantage of the flexible Retina display lamented to a machined and polished single crystal of sapphire, which is the second hardest transparent material after diamond. This feature exhibits Force Touch, a technology that senses the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access controls within apps. Enhancing the interactive feature in Apple Watch is the Taptic Engine and a built-in water resistant speaker that together amplifies the time value of alerts and notifications that you can both hear and feel. Heart of the Apple watch is its custom-designed S1 SiP (System in Package) to miniaturize an entire computer architecture onto a single chip. Apple Watch also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 4.0 to pair seamlessly with your iPhone.
Pause your line of thought if you’re a fashion freak and think this technically sophisticated smart watch hinders your style statement because its carefully styled to blend with fashion beyond imagination and comes in three distinct collections—Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
The beautifully designed and durable enclosures are crafted from custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel, space gray or silver anodized aluminum and 18-karat rose or yellow gold.
It goes without say that the overall style of the watch is enhanced with the exclusively created range of watch straps: the high-performance elastomer Sport Band; the Milanese Loop in a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh; the Leather Loop in soft, quilted leather that conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjustment; the leather Modern Buckle, which closes with a solid metal clasp; the leather Classic Buckle; and the stainless steel Link Bracelet.
Apple Watch is designed to take care of your time dial and your mobile, your styles and your files, your shopping cart and your beating heart, what more your apps and your body abs with the all new activity app that monitors your body activity throughout the day and suggests realistic fitness goals and rewards on goals achieved to keep you motivated to stay fit. Moreover taking advantage of the wrist, the specially designed sensors comprising visible and infrared LEDs along with photodiodes on the back of the watch helps keep track of your heartbeat and even share your heart beat with your loved ones.
To keep these functionalities always at its best Apple introduces a unique charging system that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging for a quick connection that snaps into place effortlessly.
At Apple extent of personalization is believed to be the greatest innovation and for a wearable like watch which speaks volumes about one’s style, attitude and picture of life, it could not be more personalized with Apple offering 11 watch faces ranging from traditional analog faces to new faces like the dynamic Time lapse face, real-time 3D model of the earth, sun, moon and planets; and the Solar face, a contemporary sundial.
Apple introduces Watch Kit, providing new tools and APIs for developers to create unique experiences designed for the wrist. With Apple Watch, developers can create Watch Kit apps with actionable notifications and Glances that provide timely information. Starting later next year, developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.
Apple Watch is expected to hit the market by early 2015 starting at $349 (US).
Now let’s say you have the budget, you have the need, you wish to transform your status quo with an Apple watch in hand but if your phone is an android one or an early version of apple iPhone you lose the deal friend because Apple Watch is only compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running the latest version of iOS 8. Though this seems a drawback to many, for apple this might mean in some way a sales booster for the iPhone series launched during timespan from year 2012-2014.
Inquiries always follow innovation. Apple too is not spared in this matter and inquiries on the battery life of the watch have caught the Apple executives off guard and prospective users without satisfying response. The current target is reportedly 2.5 hours of ‘heavy’ use or 3.5 hours of ‘standard’ use. The nature of the Apple Watch means that users will likely only be actively interacting with it in short bursts. With this in mind, Apple were aiming for 3-4 days of standby or sleeping mode, but has now lowered expectations to 2-3 days. Apple notably sidestepped the issue of battery life during the launch event for the product.
Nat Kerris, speaking for Apple, said: “There’s a lot of new technology packed into Apple Watch and we think people will love using it throughout the day. We anticipate that people will charge nightly which is why we designed an innovative charging solution that combines our MagSafe technology and inductive charging.” Buzz is even spread that the delay in the launch of the watch is in order to work on the battery life. To all these inquiries Apple responded at their ‘Spring Forward’ event by confirming that the smart watch will have ‘All day Battery Life’, which in precise mean 18 hours on a typical day. Well let’s hope for the best and hope the battery charges up the future of the wearables.
Is Apple Watch the future of wearables?
Now at this juncture of tech facts the question I would ask myself would be – Can Apple watch be the savior of the currently less popular smart wearables? Reviews about the android based wearables in the market showcase a scene of promises not rightly delivered and lack of proper blend of the style of a watch and functional efficiency of a smart watch. Though the android ones score over Apple in terms of the compatibility part, an overall comparison as to which is best is out of question until Apple watch is launched and we get a hands on experience on this promisingly personal and highly functional smart wearable.
Future is uncertain. It can take turns towards either side with passing of time. Also to give verdict about future of wearables based on few written facts about the Apple watch would seem like a biased and more subjective than objective verdict. However if Apple gets right with its battery life, I believe the Apple watch does promise a new phase for the wearables market. Battery life is one area which can make or break this much hyped innovatively interactive wearable because how much ever stylish it looks if it dies on the go and force you to dig in for your phone for communication and interaction guess the race would be lost. Apple promises innovation at every interaction and with the sophisticated heartbeat sensor, efficient activity app, range of varieties in style and the fluid navigation system, this promise seems worth trusting on. Always having lived by its promises Apple watch I believe definitely would give a more smart, stylish and functional definition to the smart wearables market. Making smart watches as good or even better accessory to substitute your junk of jewels and hand held iPhone.
A note to end would be: the wearable be smart or not, you better be smart on your buy because “Time and tide waits for none” whatever watch you have on your wrist.