“OH, THERE’S ONE MORE THING” ~
A timely statement from Apple’s Tim Cook…
© 2014 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
In the 15th century the wristwatch evolved from a spring driven clock that was invented by the German craftsman Peter Henlein. While improvements have certainly been made, the concept of keeping time in some form or another hasn’t really changed. In recent months we’ve seen various attempts to change that with the introduction of the “Smartwatch”. On September 9th Apple’s Tim Cook may have changed that when he said, “Oh, there’s one more thing”, taken from a phrase that the late Steve Jobs always used, Tim introduced the APPLE WATCH, and then proclaimed, “Apple’s most personal product, ever”. This announcement had so much world-wide interest that it overloaded the Internet… Did you notice it’s not part of the “i” family, a sign the “i” symbol may be on its way out?
What makes the Apple Watch stand apart from all the other Smartwatches? First off, the rectangular watch with rounded edges, looks like a fine timepiece that adapts for right or left hand use automatically. It’s available in two sizes for men or women and three different models. Then with the push of a button you can interchange from a wide selection of wristband styles. The models include, The Watch, in either polished or space black stainless steel, The Sport, anodized aluminum in silver or space gray, and The Watch Edition, a 18-karat gold design developed to be twice as hard as standard gold. All models feature a polished sapphire crystal protective covering over the display and use a traditional side mounted watch crown to navigate the menus thus preventing obscuring the display. The watch face can be selected from many available designs. Apple Watch truly has the look of a fine watch and doesn’t give the appearance that you’re wearing a bulky electronic gadget! It’s really not a computer on your wrist, but rather a sophisticated link or remote control and display for your iPhone.
So, what does the Apple Watch do that makes it so unique? Well, it truly integrates with Apple’s iPhone models from the 5 series on up. This is something that was not typically possible with other Smartwatches. When linked to your iPhone you can make and receive calls, receive and text messages, read, mark and delete emails, control music, use Siri, walkie-talkie communication, calendar reminders, GPS turn-by-turn directions that tap on your wrist indicating the turn, remote camera operation, make purchases with *Apple Pay, and fitness/vital sign tracking that can be sent to others. Fitness and vital sign tracking could open the door for many life saving technologies in the future. Now that’s a comprehensive list of useful features with many more to come. I especially like knowing when a call is coming in because the watch taps you on your wrist. It also shows caller ID and text messages at a glance without having to pull out your phone. In noisy areas this can be a big plus.
The battery life is still a deep secret. The display only turns on when the watch is moved to a ninety-degree position, a feature that exists on other smart watches that conserves battery drain. Charging is accomplished by magnetic induction, a form of wireless charging.
The Apple Watch will be available some time in early 2015 with a starting price of $349.00. The Gold Edition may be very expensive, perhaps as high as $5000.00.
Earlier I referenced *Apple Pay as a feature. This is a service commonly known as mobile wallet. The concept is to negate the need for credit cards by simply communicating between your iPhone and a merchants’ special reader thus authorizing the payment of a sale’s transaction between the merchant and your bank. Apple has already aligned itself with several large merchants and service providers to make this form of payment possible some time in 2015 or sooner. A quick note, Wal-Mart and Best Buy have stated that they will not participate as they plan to use another form of a mobile wallet. Some have said mobile wallets will eliminate the need for credit cards as a form of payment and severely impact PayPal, but let’s not be too hasty as many people still do not have iPhones or Smartphones and may never have them. Also, even though Apple indicates that hacking will not be an issue, it seems someone always finds a way to break the code, after all it is Cloud based technology. Boy, true technology on the move and where’s Dick Tracy when we need him?
Graphic credit: Apple