When Samsung and Qualcomm unveiled their own smartwatches last month, many were left feeling ambivalent towards the devices since they weren’t really wearable smartphones at all, but rather just a companion device for smartphones. In other words, these devices are useless you have a smartphone to pair them with.
Consumers want a wearable smartphone, not something that costs half the price of a smartphone that only serves as a companion device. That’s exactly why people are looking to Apple to release such as device, but will the Cupertino company deliver what they’re crying out for?
Well, according to the latest reports, Apple’s iWatch will definitely be different from the Galaxy Gear and the Toq, as it will not be a smartphone companion. Interestingly, the iWatch will probably be some kind of home automation solution that allows users to control their home environment – streaming music to every room in the house, turning the lights on or off, managing the temperature, monitoring security systems, and more.
“As an Apple supplier, our contact offered insight into the “iWatch” and described this potential new device as much more than an extension of your iPhone but as a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home (i.e., heating/cooling, lights, audio, video, etc.),” Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White said in a research note.
If this is true, then Apple may be getting ahead of the competition, especially when the industry and consumers are now paying close attention to smart home automation solutions. An iWatch could be used for key-less home entry for example, or a simple flick of the wrist could turn the lights on or off, or the device could even be used as a way to monitor your house when you’re halfway across the world.
The iWatch could also boost Apple’s position in TV, as it could be closely integrated with Apple TV. It could function as a remote control, record programs even if you’re not at home, provide more information about the program and more, right there on your wrist.
But if Apple really is going down this route with the iWatch, does this mean it’s abandoning the Quantified Self revolution? Or could this be Apple’s way of killing two birds with one stone? Many products now serve more than one purpose, so the iWatch could function as both a home automation device and a quantified self or tracking device. If so, that would deliver far more functionality for the user, which means that even if it comes with a huge price tag, people will see the device as being worthy of their hard earned money.
Aside from the iWatch’s functionality, people can’t wait to see what the device will actually look like. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear was kind of disappointing, resembling a tiny, cheap-looking Android phone that comes with a strap. At least Qualcomm’s Toq looks much better, even if it doesn’t actually do all that much. We can only hope that the iWatch won’t look like a mini-iPhone with a strap. Here’s hoping that Apple will make use of Gorilla’s flexible glass and a wrap around display to come up with something really cool that everyone wants to slap onto their wrist :)
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