We’ve been anxiously awaiting the launch of the Apple Watch. And, with its announcement earlier this month, Apple is once again ready to demonstrate its ability to “popularize” existing technology as they’ve done several times over the years. Apple created demand for MP3 Players years after Sony, Panasonic and others were introduced into the market.
Remember the first portable music device? The Sony Walkman was launched 22 years before the first iPod. Since, Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. Now Apple is entering the wearable technology category with the launch of the Apple Watch on April 24, 2015.
Wearable technology has been around for over 20 years. Back in the mid 90’s, Microsoft came out with the MSN Watch that featured changeable face patterns, news headlines in several major cities, national news, weather and basic games. Jumping to today’s environment: Samsung, Garmin, Fitbit and Google are selling and marketing wearable technology that:
- Counts your steps
- Helps you exercise
- Keeps track of your pets and kids
- Plays music
- Uses Bluetooth to enable users to answer their phones and view texts
- And more
Now, with Apple entering the wearable market with the Apple Watch, it makes the conveniences of the smartphone even more accessible in a wearable device.
The real opportunity through Apple Watch is the functionality it enables, including:
- A new development platform – developers need to consider alternate screen sizes when developing ways to communicate information
- A new source of ad revenue – opportunity to design ads that fit the function of the smaller app
- A new platform for loyalty programs – extension of integrating loyalty cards in mobile wallets
- A new portable payment method – mobile wallet on your wrist rather than in your pocket or on your smartphone
- A new entertainment platform – smaller screen to watch videos, shows or play games
Apple revolutionized the functionality of the mobile phone when they launched the App Store. With the Apple Watch, we anticipate they’ll re-energize wearable technology. Apple has already established a loyal customer following as their focus continues to be on how their products make life simpler. The Apple Watch will most likely perpetuate this customer loyalty and demonstrate, once again, that placing the customer first leads to strong success.
With the assumed success of Apple Watch, we anticipate wearable technology will become mainstream again, triggering a next market to include wearable clothing that is compatible with wearable technology. Soon, it will have a totally new meaning when people ask, “Does this work with these shoes?”.