Wearable technology is here to stay. It is most likely to cause a serious technological revolution similar to what we once experienced with the arrival of smartphones. Speaking of smartphones, among the most popular pieces of wearable technology is the smartwatch. Smartwatches, unlike regular watches, have enhanced capabilities going beyond the usual purpose of just showing time.
However, though they may sound futuristic, smartwatches have been under production for quite some time. In fact, early versions date back to the late 70s and 80s. These first generations smartwatches were capable of carrying out mathematical calculations, translations, and could even be used to play games on them.
What makes the present range of smartwatches special is that they come with features that are way more advanced. Today’s smartwatch can run its own mobile operating system, operate applications, and even comes with capabilities such as media playback, photography, GPS navigation, and communication abilities such as calling and messaging.
With the future looking good for smartwatches, the most awaited contender seems to be the Apple Watch, which is expected to hit stores on the 24th of April. So, if you are one of the loyal Apple fans looking to add the piece to your collection of all things Apple, then this is what you could expect.
Well, obviously it looks like a watch, so let’s get that out of the way first. Apart from that, you would notice that it has a unisex design. Being a smartwatch, the focus is clearly on functionality, so men and women can expect to wear the same device as there won’t be any significant design changes to suit a particular gender. However, there will be a total of three versions of the Apple Watch; the Apple Watch Sport, the luxurious Apple Watch Edition, and the standard Apple Watch. There will also be two size options to suit various sized wrists. The larger screen size would be 1.5 inches diagonally while the smaller one would measure 1.3 inches.
The overall shape is that of a tiny square with round edges, which makes it look like the love child of an iPhone 6 and an iPod Nano. However, the device does look high-end with its sapphire display. In fact, the Apple Watch Edition is made from gold, making it quite an exclusive product.
As far as the weight is concerned, the watch is quite lightweight despite its bulky appearance. On the side, you’ll find the scroll wheel positioned in a way similar to the winding knob on regular analog watches. It gives a ‘complete watch look’ to the device while serving interactive functions.
Apple Watch Demo:
This is where the Apple Watch really stands out from its rivals. Here are some of the features you could expect in this smartwatch.
Apple Pay: This feature, which is already available in the iPhone 6, allows users to make payments in stores that permit contact-less payments. With the Apple Watch, the Apple Pay feature can be incorporated along with earlier versions of the iPhone such as the 5 and 4. The watch is NFC-enabled so all the user has to do is to press the button right next to the scrolling dial on the side while holding it next to the POS device or terminal. Successful payments are denoted by a beep and a pulse.
Fitness Tracker: The Apple Watch is expected to come with a ton of apps aimed at tracking your fitness routines and your overall health. For instance, the Activity app records all the activity that you engage in throughout the day. It includes even simple activities such as sitting or standing. The app also offers a goal-setting feature and provide regular progress reports as you get closer to achieving your fitness goals. It also alerts you if you haven’t been active in a long time. You can also collect rewards in the form of badges every time you complete a routine.
Actionable Notifications: Apart from the usual apps, the watch will also alert you with actionable notifications and a feature known as ‘glances’. The glances are basically read-only notifications, which require no further action. Tapping the “glance” will open up the actual application to give you access to other functions. Actionable notifications, on the other hand, allow you to respond to a notification and execute the necessary action. For instance, if it’s a message, you can reply to it.
Key Replacement: The Apple Watch comes with the Guest’s app that allows you to view your hotel reservation details, but its most unique function is its ability to turn your watch into a key. Basically, it allows you to open your hotel room door by tapping a button on the watch. However, the app functions only with the Starwood Hotel group, but, Apple has stated that the feature would soon be made available with other hotel groups too. Eventually, Apple plans to start using this function for cars as well.
As mentioned earlier, the Apple Watch will come in two sizes to suit different wrists. The two size options include a 1.5-inch screen and a smaller 1.3-inch screen with a 319×390 and 272×340 resolution respectively. It will have a square-shaped display made from sapphire crystal to provide extra protection to the screen.
It will have IPX7 waterproof standard making it capable of handling underwater immersion to a certain extent. The operating system will be a specialized version of the iOS developed exclusively for the Apple Watch.
The prices are expected to range from $349 for the 32mm Apple Watch Sport to over $10,000 for the Apple Watch Edition version.