Apple has announced its first steps into the wearable technology market – and they’re pretty big strides.
At its Apple Live event in Cupertino on 9 September 2014, the tech giant announced the Apple iWatch.
“One more thing”
Tim Cook revealed the brand new device following the announcement of the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus by using a favorite Steve Jobs phrase: “One more thing”. He then went on to describe it as “the next step in the Apple story”.
Cook then played a video which featured a rectangle watch face, with multiple, colored straps, and a crown, used to zoom in and out of the watch face – rotate it to zoom in or navigate lists, or press it to return home.
The crowd reacted strongly to the announcement. Despite rumors, few saw this level of detail being revealed at an iPhone launch event.
It was also revealed that the Apple Watch is only usable with the iPhone.
Apple then revealed more details via a video, presented by Apple’s design king Jony Ive.
A “new dimension” has been added, explained Ive. The Watch will recognize the difference between a tap and a press and will have Taptic feedback.
Infrared and visible-light LEDs, alongside photosensors, detect your pulse.
The Watch can also detect various other metrics.
Tim Cook also presented the new Fitness app for the Apple Watch.
The Watch will have six different strap designs that can be changed at any time using a specially designed clasp. Different colors will also be available.
The Watch face can also be customized.
Kevin Lynch, VP of Technology provided a live demo of the Watch.
Lynch showed several features, including swiping up, and sideways to reveal calendars, music that’s stored in the Apple Watch and more.
He spoke more of the Taptic engine and the subtlety of notifications, discreet enough so that others around the owner would not notice.
Text message were also demoed. One feature saw the ability to quick reply – which included everyday phrases, analysis of the text itself to provide information within, and emojis and voice reply.
Lynch also demonstrated the Maps app, showing how it would vibrate in unique ways to signal a left or right turn.
The Watch will also have Siri compatibility so owners can interact with the personal assistant technology.
Lynch used Siri to search for cinema listings during the live demo.
It was also announced that third-party apps would be able to work with Apple Watch, such as Facebook and Twitter – owners will be able to tweet direct from their phone.
Developers would be able to use a platform called WatchKit to develop apps for the device.
Another example of its functionality saw Lynch explain how Watch can be used in hospitality – at Starwood hotels, Watch owners would be able to open their door with the device.
The Watch will work with iOS 8 on both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but also the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s.
The Apple Watch will start at $349 and available earlier in 2015.