Following last week’s Apple event it’s probably safe to presume the wearables Stone Age will end this year. Enter the Apple Watch, 2015’s highly anticipated wrist device with a mile long list of features. The Apple press conference unveiled not only the next generation of iPhones, but also a new twist in the company’s story.
As people of digital, it’s difficult to contain our enthusiasm towards the new possibilities the Apple Watch brings consumers and brands. The overall opinion is that another digital device is another opportunity to keep your eyes glued to a screen, with negative consequences to one’s social life.
However, if one sees the Apple Watch as an extension of their smartphone, the truth might become the exact opposite. It could replace the incessant need to check your phone’s updates with its real time display function or a gentle tap. The simple and familiar gesture of checking one’s wrist will maximise users’ attention to the environment or conversations taking place around them.
Tim Cook has declared it the most personal product ever designed in the history of Apple Inc. While this is yet to be confirmed, we believe he’s right. Its customisation combinations are counted in millions, from the sleek design to its software personalisation options.
What excites us most is the change it will bring to the way brands interact with their fans and prospective buyers.
An important component of the device is the WatchKit, a development kit that will help developers design various features for their apps using the Apple Watch software and hardware. In other words, the kit is opening up development possibilities for brand-user interaction.
This leaves us wondering: will brands be quick to capitalise on this new medium and if so, how will they interact with consumers via this gadget? If they wish to keep in touch with consumers across all available media, companies will have to rethink their user experience and user interaction to accommodate the 1.5/1.7 inches screens. We envision this as the beginning of voice – visual – tactile integration for mobile apps. It looks like a new era is about to start for developers and mobile marketers alike.
The Watch is designed to be a very personal product and it will be quite intriguing to see how receptive consumers will be to receiving short marketing messages the length of a tweet or even less. The real struggle for marketers will be to condense brand messages into attention-grabbing notifications which retain maximum relevance. They will have to find the means to deliver notifications in a timely manner without being intrusive or annoying to the recipient. This could be a great opportunity for the maturation of notification-based advertising, with richer and more dynamic messages integrated in a flowing user experience.
With the messaging space literally at an arm’s length, it will be exciting to witness the creativity and innovation that marketers will adopt in the coming months to reach their consumers on the Apple Watch.
Overall, we feel Apple’s new product launch is good news for a seamless user experience. There is however one major drawback evident at this point: the vast majority of Apple Watch functions are available only if used together with an iPhone. Having to purchase an iPhone to complement the Watch might turn away some prospects because of cost considerations.
In any case, we just can’t wait to see how disruptive this new gizmo will prove to marketers and consumers alike and how it will manage to improve our lives.
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