It happened. An Apple product that spawned more rumors than Hillary’s 2016 campaign is actually about to hit shelves. Granted, the Apple Watch (sorry, Watch) arrived with a bit of a “meh” response, but it’s here.
“That’s great,” you’re probably thinking “but isn’t that an Android in your pocket, and on your wrist? Why are you here talking about an Apple product?”
Why yes it is. And how did you know that?
Like the Apple Watch rumors, the current generation of wearable technology has now been around for a couple of years. The arrival of the Watch brings a sort of legitimacy to the market, something that Android devices have always struggled to do. With it, we now have a clearer picture of how wearables will fit into our daily lives, as Apple’s wearable will surely sell millions putting a smartwatch on the wrists of everyone from a high school nerd to the wolves of Wall Street.
The Apple Watch is Here. Now What? Are these wrist-mounted supercomputers consigned to simply being extensions of the notifications on our phones? Is that what all this hype and excitement has led to? Obviously the answer to that is “no”; tech reporters won’t be closing up shop anytime soon. Technology changes and morphs every single day; it’s a continuous, gradual, transition, always bridging the gap to the next big thing.
What is fascinating about the transition that wearable technology is bringing about is how truly personal it is making our technology. While the smartphones in our pockets may always be glued to our hands, they know few intimate details about us. Few, at least, compared to what’s possible.
Smart watches, glasses, clothing and the like will not only know our location and be connected into our online lives, but they are quite literally physical extensions of ourselves. So not only will we be able get insight related to where we are and what we’re doing, but how we are as well. Now, I just want you take a second to think about that: This wearable technology trend has started with smart watches, a piece of technology many people are already used to wearing. This will allow for the “non-techies” to warm to the idea of a smart device that they can wear, and that will deliver personal information to themselves. Then, we’ll see things like smart glasses (more stylish and “accepted” than Google Glass V1) and smart clothing (imagine a bathing suit that measured sunlight and warned you when you were exposed to too much sunlight, and reminded you to reapply sunscreen?) appear on the shelves at Lenscrafters and Macy’s. Smart clothing and accessories will be the norm.
Now, take just one more second to take that thought another step further: Imagine what were possible if we paired the data generated from this kind of wearable tech with Augmented and Virtual reality? Video games could incorporate your actual heart rate and perspiration. Doctors could remotely monitor your health and be more proactive by noticing potential problems before you do. Facebook sees this promising potential – that’s why they spent $2 billion on Oculus VR last year.
So when it comes to the question “Now what?” in regards to wearable technology, you may ask it with a sense of uncertainty. I ask it out of intrigue.