It’s always great to step up the technology vista and peer over edge. We did that today with another big-tent, big-roar presentation from Apple for its worldwide debut of the Apple iPhone 6, Apple iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
At first glance they’re all killer products. The iPhone 6 ups processing power and display size. The Plus version, with a 1920×1080 (2-million-pixel) display, nests within that space between a phone and pad. The standard 6 model boasts a 334×750 (1-million-pixel) display. This is a great step up for users, but will certainly tax iPhone-only developers who are accustomed to developing for a single screen size. Expect to see the premier Droid-iPhone shops to have the best-performing third-party apps right out of the gate.
About the Watch: I think it’s a glimpse at what’s coming and this is the necessary next step. I was front and center for the first electronic-watch revolution in the late-’70s, when we all wanted to wear a calculator, digital stopwatch and moon-phase calendar on our wrists. When Mario Bros. came out on a wristwatch a decade later, we all needed a videogame on our wrist.
I think the Apple Watch is different, though, because it centers its appeal on two critical trends – personal fitness and e-pay.
The Apple Watch is a stunning personal-fitness tool, and because it’s open to app development, fitness apps will quickly flood the App Store. What’s especially important, I think, is how the phone tracks sit vs. stand vs. walk vs. run time. A simple extra 30 minutes of standing a day can increase fitness, leg and foot health and general confidence and attitude. The Apple Watch can measure, graph and remind its user of all these daily activity measures and more, including heart rate – all while connected to our social networks through the partner iPhone.
Apple is also touting the watch as a checkout-payment system: Swipe your watch, not your card. It’s where we’re headed as a society, certainly. And Apple must be salivating at the volume and depth of real-time big data that might stream in from 10 to 30 million active shoppers using their watches at retailers. But again, I think today was the vista – a look at where we’re going. The problem with the watch is that it must work in conjunction with an iPhone 5 or 6. So why not just use your phone to pay? The answer, I presume, is that the watch doesn’t yet have the connectivity to support standalone, real-time transactions. That’s still the exclusive domain of the cellular-data phone.
Count me as fascinated, though, and as someone who’d like very much to engage with a more personal piece of wearable tech and lite versions of apps that have a direct impact on personal health and social interconnectivity. And I can’t help but think this is somehow a step toward an era we’re all wanting – a time when passwords become arcane and we use a small item, something like the Apple Watch, to bio-authenticate our logins and purchases. If that’s truly the pulse of where we’re going, the Apple Watch is here to help show us the way.
Photo by Apple.