Watch The Future

In the upcoming weeks, the Apple Watch will be released and shipped across the country to eager customers. First announced on September 9, 2014, Apple began taking pre-orders this past Friday, April 10. Three versions of the watch are each available in 38 or 42mm sizes. This watch is a significant development in technology because it has taken the need and desire to be “constantly connected” and consolidated it into a sleek and fashionable wearable. The Apple Watch lessens the need to frequently take out a cell phone or other mobile device for everyday tasks. However, we have yet to see the real power behind the Apple Watch–which will form the foundation for a future beyond the smartphone.

Apple created the watch to serve a number of purposes. While it is beneficial to consumers to consolidate devices–phones, watches, credit cards–many consumers already do this with smartphones. The Watch can carry out many of the functions of the phone without taking pocket space and affords users the access they desire without the bulk of traditional smartphones. But the smaller format of the Watch has a definite learning curve, as people are used to performing certain tasks in a specific way on the smartphone-which does not necessarily translate to the smaller device. We’ll soon find that the Watch is it’s own animal–not simply a shrunken smartphone–and has uses that we have yet to realize.

While early reviews were mixed, technology experts see the Apple Watch as a framework and a building block for future technologies. The belief is that future technologies will further enhance the functionality of the watch and the user experience. Currently, experts are hinting at a few areas in which the Apple Watch may excel, including the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and passive interfaces. The internet of things is designed to bring computer sensors to any object, so that inanimate objects will be able to be controlled remotely and in harmony with other devices. Second, artificial intelligence is already in its infancy with Google Now, Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and others. However, it will be further developed to the point where it would be able to answer questions based on the conversation, before even being prompted. Third, passive interfaces, or virtual reality systems, are becoming more the norm. Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Google Glass are just a couple of the devices that have recently captured the attention of the tech world. These systems require one to watch a screen, but then the computer does all the work.  These developments hint that in time, future versions of the watch will be able to feed users information before they even request it–the Watch will know what its user wants.

The first generation Apple Watch is just the beginning of things to come. Developments in technology will morph the Watch that consolidates devices into something more. Future models of the watch will be able to use a combination of the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and passive interfaces to anticipate the consumers’ needs–delivering information instantaneously.