With everyone jumping into the wearable device market, the arms race for who gets to occupy the space on your wrist is heating up and the stakes are getting higher. With smartphones getting larger and everyone looking for faster, stronger, smarter devices wearables have become the next frontier and with less than stellar results from the initial wave, developers are clamoring to get a solid foothold. And with more and more entries into the market Apple who has really been on the sidelines for most of the wearables war has decided to launch its first salvo with the upcoming release of its highly anticipated Apple Watch. But will this be the shot that’s heard around the world or will it just be another dud?
The new Apple Watch, formerly known as the iWatch, is an attractive wearable device that removes the need for owners of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus or any of the other compatible Apple devices to be constantly reaching for their devices to check notifications by giving access to everything from messaging and Siri to emails and answering phone calls all on their wrist. The design of the Apple Watch might conjure up moments of nostalgia for the iPod Nano because of the rectangular shape but this is definitely in a class of its own as the body is a stainless steel body encasing a beautiful sapphire crystal display that gives the device not only the look but the feel of a real timepiece. Something you can tell the designers kept in mind as some of the aesthetic choices were to meld new and old technology. A great example of this is the tastefully added touch of the digital crown. A piece that watch owners will recognize from using it to set and for older watches to wind the watch. The digital crown takes on a new role as it replaces the need to swipe and pinch to zoom functionality of most smartwatches as it is used to zoom, and scroll through functions. The Apple Watch comes in 2 heights: 1.5 inch and 1.65 inch, both of which are smaller than Pebble’s Steel Version and also a variety of colors and materials for bands as well as a number of faces for the device giving you the ability to customize it.
Another notable item for the Apple Watch is a unique way to communicate with fellow watch users called the conversation button. The conversation button gives you the ability to communicate with others in a number of ways. Traditionally you can use the conversation button to scroll and locate the contacts of someone you want to reach out to. But if they are a fellow Apple Watch user, the opportunities open up as you can two way walkie talkie with them via a mic and receiver in the watch or you can subtly get their attention via a vibrating feedback on the watch. Not as loud as a normal Vibrating of a cell phone, this subtle nudge will alert the party without letting everyone know. During the announcement, Tim Cook said the device was designed to be worn all day and charged at night, which gives the impression that you will need to charge it daily which is in line with most of its peers in the smartwatch segment. But the battery life will depend heavily on the apps that are being developed coming down the pipeline.
With a pricetag of $349, the Apple Watch is on the high-end of the market. Almost a full $100 more that the Moto 360 and $149 more than Samsung Gear, but they also don’t have the look and feel of the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is obviously looking to target the luxury buyer more than just the casual early adopter when you take into account the choice of size, different versions including an 18k gold one in the pipeline as well as the design which speaks to more of a crated time-piece than a new funky design.
So while more information will come out as we get closer to the release, the Apple Watch looks like it might give Apple a leg up in the Arms Race.