Apple has finally thrown their hat into the ring that is wearable tech. True to their nature, Apple has designed a device that is a real looker. It’s actually so pretty, I daresay it might be the first wearable that doesn’t actually shout “wearable tech,” which is already a win in itself.
The watch will come in three variants: a sporty version, a casual version and one in gold. Apart from being a little chunky, it actually does look like a watch first, and a tech device second. Don’t be fooled by the familiar form factor though. It’s likely smarter than the smartphone you were using last year. The screen wakes once you lift your wrist to check the time, revealing the 42 (or 38, depending on your choice of size) millimeter screen. Instead of the usual pinching and dragging that other smart wearables have decided to use to interface with the device, the Apple watch uses the crown. Twist it, and your screen zoom in or out, or navigate through the options in a list. It effectively keeps the apple watch from feeling like a shrunken-down smartphone, to an actual smart watch that was built and designed to be one.
Touch is, of course, still an important way to interface with the device, so much so that they have pressure sensitivity incorporated into the screen, adding another way to add controls to a limited interface such as that on the device. By sensing the amount of force and using that as an input method, Apple can get rid of a few extra buttons here and there, making the experience that much simpler. It even supports Apple Pay, letting users pay, with their credit accounts, without having to use a physical credit card.
Apart from the usual interfacing with your iPhone, and widgets/information/health moitoring/other complications, the likes of which we have come to expect from every other wearable on the planet, it gives users a few new ways to communicate with other Apple Watch users. You can, firstly scribble a drawing, and send it over to another user. If you require a little more than a doodle can get across, you can send over an audio clip.
If you just need to get the other person’s attention, you can tap on your watch a few times, and the other party will receive the same taps discreetly, on their wrist thanks to the device’s linear actuator.If you want to be borderline creepy, you can even send another watch user your heartbeat, because why not?
There’s no word as to local pricing or availability, though it should be available in the US “Early 2015,” starting at USD 349, and be compatible with the iPhone 5c, 5, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus.