Apple Watch

Videos with 7 of The Luxury Technology Show Exhibitors

Awesome venue, people and tech sums up the Luxury Technology Show at W Hollywood last week.  But you don’t have to take my word for it; check out these short video interviews of 7 of the impressive technologies that were on display at the show.

Jerry Wilmink, CEO of WiseWear knocks it out of the park with BEAUTIFUL wearable jewelry.  (want to learn more about how Jerry is giving the world options over current ugly, nerdy wearabletech check out this piece)

Michelle from 4mons.com demos the mamaRoo seat and origami stroller, tools for the tech friendly parent

Joe from Elan Home Systems is a man after my heart because he wants to make the smart home so easy that grandma can use it.

Segway has met it’s match with the ultra-low form factor of Hovertrax and Solowheel by Inventist. See it demoed by Joalene Jolivette, Marketing Director at Inventist

Technology to help regrow hair? Find out more from Fran & Marina from HairMax. The lasers stimulate the hair follicles but, unfortunately, don’t work fast enough for me to show you before and after head shots.

Megan Johnson from Sengled tells about their three connected light bulbs. Pulse plays music through up to 8 connected. Boost boosts your Wi-Fi. Snap has an HD camera inside for outdoor lighting and security.

Making the kitchen smart by infusing technology into the pan? Yes, that is what Prachi and Rahul from SmartyPans will do.  Catch SmartyPans at Michael Wolfe’s Nov 5 event: The Smart Kitchen Summit

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Should We Give Up On WearableTech?

There are some inaccuracies in wearable technology. Take this example from my Apple Watch during this weekend’s 17.5 mile ride on the Los Gatos Creek Trail:

AppleWatch Multiple HeartRates

The one on the right is correct.  When I saw it was 56 I dried under the watch with my shirt and it quickly re-registered with a more appropriate reading for someone who just hauled himself up a hill.

What do we do? Do we give up on ‪#‎wearabletech‬ because of inaccuracies like this? No. It has nuances but still generates enough value to justify the cost.

How does it generate value? It’s the little things that counts. Seeing the current temperature, my next appointment and the date at a glance are all little things that add value.  Over the weekend I was busy at the kitchen sink with wet hands and someone called me.  Have you ever stuffed a wet hand into a pocket to fish for a phone?  If you do get it out, do you think about the people who have dropped phones in kitchen sinks?  With the watch I simply touched my wrist with my wet pinky finger and took the call.  Another little thing.

In reality, though, I don’t want to have to touch the watch.  I want to say ‘Hey Siri answer the call’ and be totally hands free.  Even though voice as the preferred interaction isn’t there for this use case, the wet pinky beats drying hands, pulling out the phone to see who it was and then answering.  But, little things, remember, and the value add with the current experience is a little thing.

You can set the Apple Watch up to do some pretty cool things with other IoT devices and services that add even more value.  With an IFTTT rule I can flick my wrist and say “Hey Siri: Text Phillips Hue ‪#‎off‬” then hit send and moments later my connected bulbs will shut off. Pretty cool, unless you’re my wife and at home using the lights while I’m out showing off at tech meetups – sorry honey. But you know what would be even cooler?  If I didn’t have to touch the watch to send the text.  Perhaps Apple can get a setting for that incorporated into the watch OS soon.  But even if that doesn’t happen in the near term, there are still enough little things that the watch does to justify its daily placement on my wrist.

Say Goodbye to Ugly, Nerdy WearableTech

To say design is important in wearable technology is an understatement; design is everything in wearable technology.  Why? Because people wear it and what people wear makes a statement about who they are.  This week I caught up with two entrepreneurs making it possible to make that statement with fashionable jewelry.

These gentlemen are leading teams creating fashionable wearable technology with designs that surpass any other fitness trackers on the market.  They are playing with a different set of rules.  Rather than working with materials and designs that easily accommodate technology, they are integrating technology into elegant designs and using materials that are figuratively and literally hard to work with.  Wireless signals cannot pass through precious metals; therefore, jewelry design involves tricks to making products that are beautiful and at the same time the design must allow for signals to be passed to and from a mobile device.

“We’ve been wearing jewelry for 75,000 years,” Gerald Wilmink, founder and CEO of WiseWear said.  What people haven’t been doing for those same years is wearing sensors.  Wearable technology entrepreneurs first attempts have been awkward and obtrusive resulting in gigantic rubber band like contraptions that have attempted to redefine what is acceptable to accessorize with.  The approach, however, is not well received by all consumers.  This is an opportunity for wearable technology to improve not just its capacity but its appeal.  “The next wave is truly integrating the sensors and electronics into everyday wear,” said Wilmink whose WiseWear Socialite collection provides fashionable selections through three different bracelet designs, the Calder, the Duchess and the Kingston.

Once wearable technology is integrated into everyday wear, it also needs to be made available to markets that will consume it.  “Career professionals are not going to buy a fashion accessory at an electronics store,” explained ViaWear Founder and CEO Ben Isaacson.  ViaWear’s Tyia bracelet line includes several different styles, finishes and bands and will be distributed in locations where jewelry is sold.  People who frequent jewelry stores and electronics stores aren’t typically the same demographic.  “The fashion forward demographic is waking up to smart jewelry,” Isaacson explained.

There is a relatively untapped market with needs that can be satisfied through beautiful wearable technology accessories and Isaacson and Wilmink are not alone in creating fashionable wearables for these customers.  Wearable fitness tracker maker Fitbit has partnered with luxury lifestyle brand Tory Burch to create Tory Burch for Fitbit.  When announcing their line of smart watches and bands last fall Apple boldly claimed, “There’s an Apple Watch for everyone.”   Others are also joining the race to make fashionable wearable technology in accessories and clothing.

Why make wearable technology fashionable?  Isaacson explains, “The fashion side is a given.  Nobody wants to wear something ugly anymore.”  To this point Wilmink also agrees, “We make sensors and electronics invisible.  You want the data but you don’t want to look like a nerd.”

Apple Watch Button vs Apple Watch

Which do you prefer?  I’m testing both.

IMG_6959

One has unlimited battery life, an always-on display and comes with a $20 price tag.

One has many more features and comes with a $400 price tag.

Here is the problem.  I have talked to three people who own the watch this week about their experience.  One occasionally wears it, one wore it for a month, one wore it for a week.  Is there a problem here?  What is it about this device that seems to be turning people off?  I really want to know because I’m starting the experience (now day 3).  I’m not convinced yet whether it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, if it is more like 10 day old stale gluten free bread when all you really want is a steak or if it is something in between.

Is the Apple Watch able to put technology to work for you? Can you persuade me?

You can reach me with your opinion, your experience, or if you just want to vent (or boast) about how the Apple Watch does or doesn’t enrich your life.  Also, if you’d like the button version I can hook you up.

Reach out

On Facebook

On Twitter

On LinkedIn

On the Contact Page

Or call/text me.  My number is (408) 466-xxxx where xxxx = the year I moved to Silicon Valley, 1997.  Good year.  Maybe I’ll answer your call with my watch…

How Does Apple Watch Score Against @WorkTechWork Wearable Predictions?

Apple Watch does not get a perfect score on the WorkTechWork Wearable Predictions that were made in March.  Read on to find out why.  Each prediction is listed, with comments on Apple Watch and a link to more details from the recent industry watch.

1)      Wearables of the future will be more than fad devices; they will satisfy customer needs.

SCORE!  Apple Watch goes beyond tracking fitness and is more than a fad device.  “The list of features is a mile long,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said when introducing Apple Watch.  While not all of these features have been shared with the public, many of the features will satisfy real customer needs.  There is no doubt Apple understands wearable technology should enrich the lives and health of people and make a difference, a difference from technology working for people.

More on Prediction 1.

2)      Where wearables are silo solutions now, in the future they will be better integrated with other wearables and the wider Internet of Things.

SCORE!  Apple Watch integrates with Apple’s HealthKit, one of the platform announcements covered in the Wearables Industry Watch for this prediction.

More on Prediction 2.

3)      Companies that combine the information of multiple sensors in multiple wearable devices will create more value for their consumers than producers of single wearable devices.

SCORE! Apple Watch combines the information from sensors in the watch and sensors in the iPhone to create Wearable Alpha, value above the value a customer receives based on the use of just the watch or just the phone.

 

AppleWatchWearableAlpha

More on Prediction 3.

4)      Wearables will become more intelligent because of developments in sensor technology and the ability to translate data from these sensors into insight via analytics.

SCORE! The Apple Watch uses an accelerometer and gyroscope along with optical sensors that use both visible and infrared light.  No other wearable in the market does this.  Through the HealthKit integration Apple and app developers will be able to leverage analytics to derive insights.

More on Prediction 4.

5)      The cost of sensors will continue to go down, thus enabling more uses and innovation with sensors in wearable devices.

TBD: $349 is where pricing starts for the Apple Watch.  There is always a premium for Apple products, especially when they are new.  For now we have to wait to see what happens over time with both the price of the Apple Watch and the costs for the sensors inside.  Bluetooth, NFC and other sensor technologies in the watch have come down in recent years but the focus of the prediction is to look into the future, seeing the costs going down.

More on Prediction 5.

6)      Wearable devices will need less frequent charging because of better energy storage and lower energy consumption.

TBD: The jury is out still because Apple has not released specifics on the battery for the Apple Watch.  This prediction has two components, energy storage and energy consumption.

The storage question status is TBD but it will be answered soon enough (the battery will probably not benefit from 300% increased capacity from the battery life “Holy Grail” mentioned in the Industry Watch, but we can hope, right?).

Lower energy consumption comes through design, software and functionality that is wearable specific.  Apple did not shrink an iPhone and put a watch band on it; Apple Watch was designed as a wearable.  But, before I can really give Apple Watch a pass on this aspect, I need to get my hands on one and see how good the battery stands up after several full days of use.

More on Prediction 6.

7)      People are going to use wearable technology to make a statement about who they are.

SCORE!  From Apple.com: “There is an Apple Watch for everyone.”  With three different collections and multiple bands, Apple Watch provides smart watch shoppers with more options for customizing their smart watch than all of the existing smart watches on the market combined.  These options along with the millions of appearances possible for the digital face earn Apple Watch a coveted place as the leader in fashionable wearable products.

More on Prediction 7.

8)      People are going to use undetectable wearable technology by using wearable ultra-sensitive micro sensors, sensors smaller and more sensitive than the innovative seat belt microphone in Audi’s R8 Spyder that enables clear cell phone conversation with the top down at lightning speeds.

N/A – There could be ultra-sensitive micro sensors inside that we are not aware of yet but if you have the Apple Watch on, people are going to see it.

More on Prediction 8.

9)      The debate around ownership of wearables-generated data will continue.

SCORE!  Because the Apple Watch generates data and it integrates with Apple Pay, people are already asking tough questions about data security and privacy.  Apple, however, stands firm that it is in the hardware, not the data business.  As Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Charlie Rose last night, “I think people have a right to privacy. I think that’s going to be a very key topic over the next year or so, and we’ll reach higher and higher levels of urgency as more and more incidents happen.”

Here are some related links:

More on Prediction 9.

10) Contextual awareness will be enabled by wearable device adoption and become the next big thing in marketing and customer experience.

SCORE!  The Apple Watch is itself contextually aware; it knows when it is on or off your wrist or when your wrist is turned towards you to look at the watch face.  There will, no doubt, be the opportunity for apps and services to be developed that are aimed at enriching customer experiences.

More on Prediction 10.