A GREAT LEAP FORWARD
Can’t Leave Home Without It
Mark Sullivan’s March 10, 2016 Fast Company article, “Apple Watch 2: How the World’s Best Smartwatch Might Makes Its Great Leap Forward,” takes a stab at answering two questions: How will the Apple Watch 2 be better than the first Watch? What will Apple add to the device to make it more useful and necessary to more people?
First, Apple is expected to address shortcomings of its initial smartwatch, which have been well defined in customer research, media reviews and analyst coverage. This likely will include incremental improvements in the processor, battery and sensors.
Second, the key to large-scale adoption is evolving the Apple Watch into “The can’t-leave-home-without-it device.” It eventually would replace three things you don’t leave home without—your phone, your wallet and your keys. To accomplish this, it must become a communication and app-running device, a payment and rewards device, and an identification and authentication device. And it must become completely separated from the iPhone.
To achieve this the Apple Watch will need its own always-on internet connection (probably LTE cellular), an on-board GPS radio, and close interaction of a secure element and near field communication (NFC)—already present in the Apple Watch—with enhanced personal sensors. This could open a wide range of communication, activation and transaction applications that require accurate and secure location, identification and authentication information.
But, according to the article, this all may be wishful thinking. “The factor that most limits the potential of the Watch is the battery.” And, “The Watch uses the same type of Lithium-Ion battery used by millions of other mobile devices, and science has already squeezed all the big gains in power output from the technology.” The article concludes that, “The only real remedy to the power challenge is to make the components do what they do with less power.”
The final post in this series examines a Business Insider article on a 50-year vision for the future of Android Wear.