“Today, I ordered paper from my wrist. I felt the excitement of one of our developers, via their heart beat, 180 miles away. I walked around Central London, guided by taps. I had a conversation with my hand. I controlled a presentation by tapping my wrist. Today, I received Apple Watch.” Robert Haslam, PR manager, Mubaloo.
Here at Mubaloo, wearables have been a device category that we find fascinating. There are huge number of opportunities, as we’ve discussed in our white papers focused on the opportunities and challenges.
One big question with wearables, is who needs them? There are very easy arguments to make both ways here. On the one hand, many wearables are extensions to our smartphones, designed to help us track our fitness, deal with the never ending influx of email, app notifications, WhatsApp, SMS, iMessage, Google Hangouts, Facebook alerts and LinkedIn requests (to name but a few). On the other, they’re a luxury item that no-one really needs, especially when there are bigger problems facing the world.
The average person checks their phone over 150 times per day. Some of these checks will be to see the time, others will be to deal with a notification, others will be to do a task or just to waste some time.
Whether or not anyone needs a wearable, they are here and following the introduction of Apple Watch, they being sold in the millions. Now, of course, Apple wasn’t the first to introduce a wearable, not by a long shot. Sony, Samsung, Pebble, LG all had wearables long before Apple, yet it is Apple that has captured attention and already been proclaimed as the best smartwatch in the world by early reviews.
Our smartphones mean that we are always on, always connected. We’re so connected that we can do virtually anything with our smartphones, from running businesses to controlling the environment around us. We’re so connected that we get distracted by the physical world because of our smartphones.
This is what smartwatches are trying to solve. They’re trying to help us deal with the notifications we receive in a more manageable and sensible way.
From the ground up, Apple designed Apple Watch to be used for 5-6 seconds at a time. This is one of the first things it’s trying to solve. It’s still too early to say whether that will be the case, but first impressions are promising.
Apple Watch joins our growing collection of wearable devices that we are helping companies to explore. Ultimately, wearables need to solve a problem to deliver value to businesses. Getting information, or being able to take quick and easy actions, without pulling out our smartphones, could prove to be hugely powerful to a number of job roles and industries.