Sorry Apple, Nice Watch But No Use Case

Sorry Apple, Nice Watch But No Use Case
After visiting the IFA trade show in Berlin last week, I had the feeling that the whole smart watch industry (LG, Asus, Samsung, Sony and others) was demonstrating the typical problem of a great technology in search of a real use case.

Frankly these are very nice pieces of technology, small enough to look like a pretty normal sport type timepiece, but packed with technologies: Phone, Wi-Fi, heart rate monitor, GPS, you have it.

Now the question is what is the use case? In the last six to eight months I have seen many apps running on many “smart“ watches from CES to IFA and beyond, but nothing where I could say: “this is the killing app.“

Then comes Apple. Yesterday the Cupertino company unveiled the long expected Apple Watch. A great marketing show - at least as a replay because, like the rest of the world, as a video streaming I had either a Japanese voiceover or nothing at all to view on my iPad.

Innovative user interface
Clearly the company has been working hard on developing what seems to be an innovative user interface mixing touchscreen, a rotary wheel, buttons, and haptic feedback.

And the hardware is also on par with what Apple usually creates: sleek and smart with a nice finish.

All of that is great but still it is technology, not a solid use case. From the demonstrations and the various video produced by Apple there isn’t anything that can be done on this watch that would not be better done on an iPhone.

Which by the way pushed them to create a feature where you can start a task from the watch and continue it seamlessly on the iPhone. Great, well thought, but why not starting this task directly on the iPhone, one might ask?

That might take you 2 seconds to remove your iPhone from your pocket but save you $349 and the hurdle to charge yet another device (Apple is, by the way, not communicating how long the Watch battery will last) with yet another cable.

Fitness use case?

In its keynote Apple focussed a lot on the health ands fitness features of the Watch. We definitely agree, fitness measurements might be a serious use case, but definitely most of it can be done today with a $100 smart band.

Furthermore this watch is not working as a standalone, it still needs an iPhone (and nothing other than that) in your pocket. Worst case scenario: you want to go for a run, you still need to take your iPhone with you because the watch does not have GPS, hence it will not record your speed and distance accurately without it. Bottom line: you better have a dedicated sport watch if this is your personal use case.


Wednesday, September 10th 2014

Nav & Telematics | Sport and Outdoor | Location Based Services | Tech & Innovation | Market Data | Finance & Legal | People and Jobs | Voices of the industry | Press Releases