The following is the Editor’s Letter in the April 2015 issue of Information Age<
So the future is here. Technology built for the wrist is no longer a destructive weapon conjured up for James Bond – it’s the next evolution of smart living, or so we’re told.
Smart watches have so far failed to capture the imagination of the mass consumer market, but the characteristically loud arrival of Apple is likely to change that.
For a long time now – certainly since the introduction of the iPod in 2001 – whatever Apple has touched has turned to gold, and the company is synonymous with the technology that most defines how we live today.
However, the Apple Watch is the company’s biggest risk since the launch of the iPhone eight years ago. And a wholly necessary one, with the company’s innovation increasingly coming into question in recent years.
Most people remain sceptical about the need for a smart watch, but with the general feeling appearing to be ‘if Apple can’t do it, nobody can’, the watch’s success will be significant to the entire market.
Early demand will be driven by the army of Apple fanboys, so the real test comes in the next wave – the bulk of consumers who will wait to see how others take to it. My instinct is that it will prove to be wildly popular.
The first iterations of the smartphone didn’t allow you to do much more than a PC, but they made the process much quicker, easier and, of course, mobile.
The Apple Watch takes that a step further, allowing users to enjoy even shorter and simpler interactions on tasks like glancing at messages, emails, maps and calendar appointments, or favoured apps like hailing an Uber taxi or monitoring your fitness.
Yes, getting your phone out of your pocket is hardly the most laborious of tasks, but I think people will be surprised by how far a glance of their watch gets them, and how much they appreciate the mere seconds it shaves off their incessant interactions with technology.
The process from the acceptance of new innovation to mass adoption can happen incredible quickly, so enterprises must prepare now for the inevitable influx of wearable devices on the corporate network.