After many months of speculation and the competition announcing their goods, Apple has announced it’s play into the wearables market with the Apple Watch.
Tim Cook said that they did not intend to take the iPhone and slap it on your wrist, a subtle jab at Android smart watches.
The rotary dial on the side of the device plays a key part and acts like a multifunction input mechanism. By spinning it, you can zoom in on a map, or if it is a chat app, you can scroll down the page. The spin mechanism is app dependent, Apple says it is an entirely new way of navigating any OS.
The screen is also pressure sensitive which means that it can detect the difference between a tap and a press. There is also a ‘Taptic’ engine which provides feedback.
There are also health sensors included so the device can replace your Fitbit.
Wireless charging is included as well and it uses Magsafe technology (magnets) for making it easy to attach the charger.
As you can see by the photos in this post, there will be multiple colors to the device.
There are two sized watches as well, a large and a small. So this is not a one size fits all type device.
The bottom of the device contains the sensors that can read your heart rate and a few other metrics to help you keep track of your activity. accelerometers can track how fast you are going and the GPS in your phone can be used to monitor where you run.
The health app can help you set milestones such as calories or distance and the watch will notify when those goals are reached. Apple truly feels that it is a comprehensive health solution inside their watch.
Notifications will show up on the watch as well, the above is a calendar invite. As you would expect, there are various ways to interact with these notifications such as accepting this calendar invite or rejecting it. Same goes with text messages, you can respond using pre-configured text or dictation.
Siri, to no surprise is built in to the watch as well and as you would expect, Siri is presented in a way that works well in the small form factor.
Maps are also on the watch which can provide directions to your destination. The ‘taptic’ feedback that is built in to the watch can tell you to turn left or right based on the vibration that it gives off.
There is also a new messaging service that is built in to the watch that allows you to send custom messages and vibrations to other watch users.
Third party apps are also working on the watch too. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and hotels are signing up too. Starwood will allow you to unlock your hotel room door with your watch. BWM has created an app that remembers where you parked your car and MLB will show you the scores of your favorite games on your watch.
Developers can use ‘WatchKit’ to work with the device and build notifications for their apps on the device.
There are lots of other uses for the device such as a remote control, it can be used as a viewfinder for your iPhone and many more uses that were not announced at the event. Also, to no surprise, Apple Pay will work with the watch too.
The device starts at $349 and will available in early 2015.