Written by Matt Simmonds
May 19, 2015

Wearable Technology—has the Apple Watch burst the market open?

The launch of the Apple Watch heralded a major step forward in the sphere of ‘Wearable Technology’. Or did it?

Whereas the Google Glass feels like a tantalising glimpse into the Research & Development lab at Google, the Apple Watch immediately feels slightly more mature, perhaps slightly more marketable. This maybe just due to reputation alone; Apple rarely let something out of the garage unless it’s been properly road tested first. They possess an aura of innovation, but in reality they wouldn’t release something onto the market unless they were pretty convinced it would sell.

H3 Smart utility belts?

Does this mean the wearable technology market is now burst open? Should we expect a plethora of products to start hitting the shelves — A reinvention of the utility belt? Suits with added LinkedIn capabilities? Rings with special powers that can only be destroyed by throwing them into the fires of Mount Doom?

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

The race has already begun

First of all, let’s be clear, the engines are already running here. Samsung & Song (amongst others) are already in the marketplace with smart watches. Only earlier this month at IFA (the electronics trade show in Berlin) more than 10 smart watches were released. As with their step into the ‘Phablet’ market with the new iPhone 6+, Apple are possibly a few paces behind - contrary to the acclaim and adulation stuffed into your social media stream last week.

Even before Apple’s latest announcement, wearable technology appears to be widely believed to be the next great technological frontier with Intel recently investing in a number of start-ups in the wearables industry link

"most wearable technologies exist in niche areas, offering cunning solutions to focused issues"

However, most wearable technologies exist in niche areas, offering cunning solutions to focused issues. For instance baby socks that can monitor sleep patterns. At this level the opportunities are practically limitless, all manner of jewellery products, accessories, head gear, clothing etc could offer any number of technological enhancements.

Google Glass

Google Glass

New opportunities

t seems that Google Glass and the Apple Watch are in the minority in offering a broader suite of applications more commonly found on smart phones / tablets / phablets. Of course, they both offer exciting opportunities that at present don’t exist (at least not in the same way) on current popular devices. For inspiration on Google Glass start here

What may well set the Apple Watch apart, from not just the Google Glass but other wearable technologies, is Apple’s potent mix of an irresistible brand and the cunning ability to deliver new technologies that appear not just socially acceptable, but socially necessary - the new ‘must have’.

The next step

In conclusion, we don’t really know whether this is a defining moment in the story of wearable technology, we’ll leave that for the history professors. The Apple Watch is quite probably just the next step. To where exactly we’re not quite sure, but we look forward to exploring and developing apps along the way.