So, apparently we're on the cusp of Apple introducing a new product line that may have a significant influence on our relationship with technology. I've been hilariously wrong in my previous predictions for the iPhone and iPad, so I thought it might be interesting to gather opinions before the main event occurring in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Feel free to add iPhone predictions, though I'm not sure much as been left to the imagination with all the leaks.
This is a summary of what tech sites suggest to expect for the iWatch:
- Curved OLED display, with two sizes likely to be around 1.5" and 2.5" respectively
- Saphire material to protect from scratches
- Extensive health monitoring sensors
- 3rd party apps and iPhone integration
- NFC payments
- Poor battery life (1-2 days)
- $399 max price point, entry level likely to be $199
- 2015 release date
Noting particularly interesting revealed in that list besides NFC payments, given that arguably the most important feature is going to be aesthetics. Unlike conditions before the iPhone and the iPad were released, I think a lot of really strong competition has emerged. Google are currently dominating wearable tech with Android Wear and Google Glass, without any of the clumsiness that plagued earlier competitors of Apple products (remember the original Galaxy Tab?). As a result, I'm not sure this release is going to generate the industry shockwaves of earlier product category introductions. I said exactly the same thing after the iPad was introduced, so I don't have a reliable history with these predictions.
- Mobile payments will be the killer feature that sets it aside from Android Wear. Apple will have used it's significant influence to bring payment processors together, in a way that would be difficult for Google
- It'll be marketed as a device that helps you live a healthier life through exercise, fitness, and sleep monitoring (<- thing I'm most interested in)
- The aesthetics will be minimalist, and likely controversial. While the market is demanding round displays, I'm not sure they're necessarily the most functional option for a digital device. Ive may choose to use one regardless, but I'd wager 70/30 on a rectangular (though maybe curved) display. I think Ive will have attempted to re-imagine what a watch needs to be for the 21st century, so don't expect it to look like a traditional watch (<- my least confident prediction)
- It won't have a camera. Though useful as a barcode/QR reader, it adds redundancy, creates privacy issues, and is probably not a feature many will use.
- It'll defer functionality as much as possible to an iPhone, to maximise battery life. This could mean that you need to take your iPhone with you to track a run etc.
- Battery life will be 2 days, but the charging solution will make the process relatively painless
- The reason we haven't seen leaks is because it won't be available for at least a few months