Apple Watch Work Edition

I am often asked what I think of the Apple Watch and the truth is that I am torn. As a mechanical watch enthusiast, I am fearful that the minority of us who care about these marvels of craftsmanship will further shrink. However, as a technologist, I am excited by the endless possibilities that the Apple Watch will unleash, especially in healthcare/fitness applications. I have tried and been strongly disappointed by the last few generations of wearable and I believe that Apple will finally do it right. They always do. And that’s why I will definitely buy the Sport Edition when it becomes available.
I have no doubt that the Apple Watch will do spectacularly well. But I think the Apple Watch will truly shine brightest at work. 

I can imagine a multitude of settings where not having access to a smartphone is a hinderance to productivity. Two categories that immediately pop in to my mind:

  • On the move: The growing armies of on-demand/delivery workers who need information on the move. Smartphones have largely replaced walkie-talkies as the primary dispatching device and it is common for 1099 workers to bring their own data-enabled devices. Recruitment ads often even specify “iPhone with iOS 6+ or recent Android phone”. It is difficult and dangerous for a courier to glance at their phones while riding on two wheels. I know that at FreshMint we often have an issue where the dispatcher sends a courier a change of plan while the courier is between points A and B and the message doesn’t get seen until they get to B. An Apple Watch will solve that.

  • Clean/dirty hands: There are many situations where you need to keep your hands clean or wear gloves. I can think of healthcare professionals in non-sterile environments (nurses, dentists, etc), cleanroom, lab or kitchen workers. With notifications correctly setup to avoid unnecessary distractions, I can see how the Apple Watch could be very useful in these environments. No more awkward “please reach into my pocket and answer the phone” situations.

So how is this solely relevant to the Apple Watch and not Android wearables? It’s not. I think the above applies to smartwatches in general. But I have absolutely no doubt that the Apple implementation will be more elegant and therefore used more broadly. Apple will bring an impossibly geeky product to the mainstream. They always do.