February 12, 2016 | Austin White & Zain Jiwani
The Apple Watch: A Pleasant Surprise
The Apple Watch: A Pleasant Surprise
When the Apple Watch and other wearable technologies first hit the market, I’ll admit I was initially opposed to these devices. I was concerned I’d feel over-connected, a sentiment still echoed by many today.
After wearing the Apple Watch for a little over a month now, I realize that I was over-connected and tethered to technology, but it wasn’t the watch that I was consumed by – it was my phone. Before the Apple Watch, my phone was never more than an arm’s reach away at any given time. I’d receive a text message or an app notification and used it as an excuse to surf the internet, check social media, and become occupied with countless other distractions.
Since putting on the watch, I spend significantly less time with my face buried in my iPhone because I can consume the majority of my mobile notifications in a condensed matter through the watch. Now, I spend more time interacting with people and have become more productive during the working day.
One thing I find particularly innovative and useful about the Apple Watch is the different vibration patterns that correlate to the different types of mobile notifications you’re receiving, which makes it easier to decide which items require immediate attention and which ones can wait. Additionally, I find the voice dictation service works well for that quick response to a text message or email. I like that I can check the balances of my bank accounts while simultaneously tracking my daily exercise activities. And while there are still some kinks to work out, the technology is trending up and the optimization will trend with it.
I didn’t realize how much I interact with my smartphone on a daily basis, probably due to the fact that it seems to be a common behavior trend in our society. According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in 2011. Smartphone usage is especially high in younger adults as well as those with relatively high income and education levels.
To the people who feel the Apple Watch and other wearable technology is taking the Internet of Things (IoT) too far, try leaving your phone at home one day and see how you feel. You might be surprised at how much more you get done and realize that face to face connections have replaced virtual ones.
The Apple Watch: Trending Up
After owning an Apple Watch for a few months now, I’ve concluded that it’s the coolest companion device to my iPhone. But, its lack of high utility functionality forces it to be just that – a companion device. It can’t be considered an absolute necessity over other devices in today’s market in its current form. Its native functionality prevents users from relying on the Apple Watch to conduct tasks that are completed with ease on a smartphone or tablet every day. However, I expect the Apple Watch and wearable technology to rapidly come to the forefront of technological advancement.
As the wearable technology market is maturing, the Apple Watch has the potential to become the next “must-have” technology. It’s rumored that Apple sold about $2.6 billion in Apple Watches in the first six months since its release. This market opportunity can only widen because our culture is inviting society to test new technology, but the adoption of wearables will take time.
I believe that the Apple Watch won’t be truly appreciated until a few years down the road. For the average consumer, the lack of functionality simply doesn’t warrant the price tag. Spending $350 to $700 on a device that could potentially be outdated within two years is asking a lot from someone who’s already taking a leap in buying just a companion device. Like any other technology, it will take time to advance enough to either enable lower prices or lengthen the half-life of smart watches.
Must-have technology is constantly changing. Before we know it, our must-have smartphone will be replaced by our must-have smart watches.