Apple Watch said to offer “innovation in every interaction”
Apple has launched its first wearable called the Apple Watch. This new wearable technology device is available in multiple permutations. Initially Apple are offering six watch chassis finishes, six wristbands and his ‘n’ hers sized watch faces. That allows many different looks as well as being able to change the watch display design via software.
As a starter Apple has assembled three smartwatch collections, to inspire us. These devices are referred to as the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition. They are targeted at the general wearables market, sports and fitness and the fashion segments respectively. They are Apple’s favourite permutations of the initial six chassis finish choices and six straps pigeonholed into their respective markets rather than actually being different products, which is clever… Furthermore the designs are available in a choice of size (his & hers?) with displays of either 38mm or 42mm on their longest side. As a fashion accessory – not just wearable tech – Apple has made sure to offer lots of choice for ‘individuality’
The chassis finishes available are Stainless steel, Silver aluminium, 18-Karat Yellow Gold, Space Black Stainless Steel, Space Grey Aluminium and 18-Karat Rose Gold. The wristbands available are a steel link bracelet, a plastic sports band, a Leather loop, a classic buckle, modern buckle and Milanese metal loop.
Looking again at customisability, Apple has already shown lots of watch face designs which you change in your software settings, see below for some examples.
A completely new OS powers this smartwatch range, it’s simply called the Watch OS. Apple says this will be “entirely new yet immediately familiar” like the click-wheel on the iPod was when you first used it. Taking the place of the click wheel seems to be the watch crown (the winder). This is used to interact with the OS as is a touch sensitive display which senses the pressure of your finger to react in different ways. Lighter and stronger touches mean different things, “It’s the most significant new sensing capability since Multi‑Touch,” says Apple.
The Watch OS supports quite a few Apple technologies you already know such as Apple Maps and Siri. It’s just you will work with apps differently thanks to the new OS. Siri won’t be much different of course as this software assistant responds to your voice. There are also apps such as Calendar, Music, Apple TV, iTunes, Remote Camera, Stopwatch, Timer, Stocks and Photos.
Messaging has been tweaked to work on the small screen and offer “Messages, calls, and mail. Tailored for your wrist”. An interesting new type of communication can take place between Apple Watch wearers using ‘Digital Touch’. This feature transmits watch face drawings, allows you to walkie talkie to each other, tap a friend to say hi and even send someone your heartbeat. Just like with the new iPhone 6 Apple has implemented Apple Pay NFC payments.
Like many other smartwatches Apple has put what it sees as important sensors in the device. The Apple Watch features a heart rate sensor, GPS and accelerometer. Also similarly it uses haptic feedback – vibrating or tapping your wrist for certain notifications. The usual sports and fitness apps feature and data can be easily exchanged with your iPhone – for progress tracking etc.
Looking at the technology that made Apple’s Watch possible, Apple says that it designed a new chip, the S1, to fit inside and power this wearable technology. The S1 system on chip (SoC) is “completely encapsulated in resin to protect the electronics from the elements, impact, and wear”. Another cool hardware feature of the Apple Watch is the simple and effective magsafe style charging.
The Apple Watch arrives in early 2015. So far, from what we have seen it doesn’t really offer much more functionality than rival platforms but it has offered so many more stylish options. The style range and more tasteful choices really blow Samsung’s Swarovski efforts to jazz up its wearables right out of the water.