Is Apple Watch the Always-On Remote Control for Internet of Things (IoT)?
There seems to be a lot of excitement about the Apple Watch that is slated to be available on April 24th in nine countries. Apple started taking pre-orders online on April 10th ahead of the major launch on Friday. So what makes this product exciting from an Internet of Things (IoT) standpoint?
Apple’s press release on March 9th talks about the following Apple Watch features:
Incredibly Accurate & Customizable Timepiece
An extremely precise timepiece, Apple Watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of UTC, the universal time standard. Apple Watch can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analog such as the Chronograph face, to the information-rich Modular face, or beautifully animated butterflies and jellyfish on the Motion face.
Intimate & Immediate Communication Device
Apple Watch enables you to send messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone® right from your wrist. The Taptic Engine alerts you with a gentle tap so you won’t miss important notifications. With Digital Touch, Apple Watch allows you to communicate in all-new ways by sending a sketch, a tap or even the rhythm of your own heartbeat. Interact quickly and conveniently with the world around you with Apple Watch by paying for coffee using Apple Pay™, boarding a plane with a Passbook® boarding pass, or raising your wrist to ask Siri® for turn-by-turn directions in Maps.
Groundbreaking Health & Fitness Companion
Apple Watch encourages you to sit less, move more and get some exercise every day. The Activity app provides a simple visual snapshot of your daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. Apple Watch provides the detailed metrics you need during dedicated workout sessions for the most popular activities, such as walking, running and cycling through the Workout app.
However, the press release doesn’t mention anything on IoT! VCloudNews feels it is a miss from a product positioning standpoint as wearables and IoT are very connected.
Remote Management and Internet of Things
While there are many facets of IoT which are not covered in this article, remote management is an important capability and driver for IoT. Internet connected devices can be controlled from your smartphone from thousands of miles away. You can watch your dog, change your house temperature and even lock your home from anywhere. There are apps for every connected device out there. So why Apple Watch is suitable as a remote control for IoT? It is about easy and always-on remote management without fondling with your pocket or purse to find the smartphone that you have got used to over the last few years. With wearable internet and cloud connected devices, especially on your wrist, it will be a lot easier for you to touch or voice command the smartwatch to control your room temperature or turn on/off your coffee machine. IoT is about making our lives simpler and more comfortable – Apple Watch’s remote control capabilities are a step in the right direction.
Apple Watch, HomeKit and IoT Developers
The Apple press release does mention an important aspect of an IoT eco-system development i.e. how well it is suited for developers.
The world’s most vibrant and innovative developer community has been creating all-new experiences specifically designed for Apple Watch. From requesting an Uber, checking in to your American Airlines flight, booking a bike for your Equinox class to remotely controlling your Honeywell Lyric thermostat while away, the possibilities for Apple Watch apps are endless. These experiences extend the functionality of your favorite iPhone apps, while delivering an innovative way to interact—right from your wrist. Popular apps such as Instagram, MLB.com At Bat, Nike+ Running, OpenTable, Shazam, Twitter, WeChat and more will also be available on Apple Watch.”
Combine the developer capability above with Apple’s HomeKit and you get a powerful IoT story for the home. Apple’s HomeKit allows communication across home appliances and enables them to be controlled through apps on your…well soon to be smartwatch. This makes the Apple Watch a potentially great product for consumer IoT applications.
On another note, Google has been making acquisitions in a quest to lead in smart homes and overall has great opportunity in consumer IoT as well. However, the company needs to step up its game on wearables and tie it to the Android eco-system. From an IoT viewpoint, the remote control of the future will be somewhere on your body….for now, on your wrist with Apple Watch!
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