Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wearable From Apple Might Not Be A Watch But Simple Is Going To Be Key

Here is an interesting post speculating on what form factor Apple's possible wearable device will take shape.  I'm not big on rings (oops, I just gave it away - but read through the link to understand the writer's thinking) so I hope that's not what it'll be.  And while, I have worn watches (even now) and used various fitness bands like the Fuelband and Fitbit Force, at times, I find it a bit intrusive. 

I'm hoping Apple will offer something that is easier to wear and not necessarily in the form of a watch.  We'll see.  But that's not why I'm bring this up now.  I'm bring this up because after examining all the various smartwatch options and fitness bands out there, I have come to one conclusion about Apple's entry to the wearable tech arena.

Simple.

That's just it.  It'll be simple.  Unassuming, unobstructive, and unexpected.  More importantly, it will have few functions to start.  It will not be front-loaded like others on the market in trying to do too much.  But over time with each generation, incremental improvements and features will be added. 

After all, isn't this how Apple have always done?  And while perhaps its competitors have devices with more features, buttons, and other complications, it has not diminished Apple's vision and, just as importantly, profit (at last count, Apple owned more than 60% of the mobile profit). 

Consider this.  The original iPhone had nothing more than the few native apps from Apple.  All interactions on the iPhone was through the mobile Safari browser.  In time, we gained an app store, ability to copy and paste, and added features specific to iOS.

Again, simple.  Simple useful features.  Pedometer that focus on accuracy.  Notifications.  Maybe another health feature or two.  Music control app.  Oh, it'll be able to tell time.  Maybe give you the date and current weather condition.  Nothing more.  No apps.

At least not in the beginning.  This will help Apple focus on function and design and balance all that with the battery life.  After all, what good is a wearable device if you have to constantly take it off to charge it?

This device will be an extension of your iPhone or whatever else iOS devices you fancy.  It won't replace it.  Not in the beginning.  Maybe some day when the technology is right.  So don't expect Apple to include Siri, a camera, or too much jazz right away.  It'll depend on the market and how users interact with it. 

Simple.  That'll be Apple's focus. 

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