Apple Watch: Personal, Intimate, Private and Light

11 Sep 2014|Brian Kushnir

When technology is worn, Jonny Ive intones in this beautifully constructed film accompanying the launch of the Apple Watch, it should be “truly personal.”

And personalization as we’ve previously commented is one of the key trends emerging in society today.    From the video:   “A range of products so wear them on your wrist.”  “You can personalize their experience and their capability.”  “As much about personal preference and self expression as functionality.”  “Personalization extends way beyond the interface.” “…unparalleled personalization, both in appearance and capability.”   “…technology to be worn, to be truly personal.”  “…infinitely adjustable.”

Beyond the simply personal, there is a growing desire for technology to be hyper personalised. Advances in technology mean that products are able to read consumers and give them what they want – sometimes without even being asked.  The Apple Watch takes this a step further by allowing customers to shape it themselves. People are demanding  smarter gadgets that are bespoke extensions of our bodies – with every tiny task becoming easier and more enhanced. We also want gadgets to monitor our every movement. Being in control of one’s body means knowing it inside out. We can track more and more aspects of our lives with increasing accuracy and detail, and use the data to enrich our life experiences.   The Apple Watch is speaking directly to these desires,  making it possible to have wearable technology that does not just deliver functionality, it also looks beautiful and stylish.

From the personal Apple moves outward, setting up the Apple Watch as an elegant way to create more intimacy with others.  “…connects with the wearer at an intimate level.”  “You can share something as personal as your own heartbeat.” “An entirely new way for you to connect intimately with others.” “…a gentle tap.”  “Subtle ways to communicate.”

In setting up the Apple Watch as Personal and Intimate, Apple continues the trend we’re seeing toward the elimination of boundaries between humans and machines.  In effect we are becoming one and the same.  Already with technology like Google Glass and Oakley Airwave integrating technology into our vision experience, and other products incorporating sensors and motion control capabilities via devices, pendants, or in our clothing, we are getting more comfortable with the notion that technology is something that is part of us.  As we increasingly become one with technology and it permeates our thinking, behaviors, and experience, even the meaning of ‘human’ is being stretched.

Perhaps anticipating concerns that may arise with a device so personal and intimate it can provide a “comprehensive picture of your daily activity,” there is also a nod to privacy – the Apple Watch is “a discreet and nuanced experience.”   Making people feel that their most intimate data is secure is especially important in light of the recently disclosed hacking of Apple’s iCloud.

As ever, Apple wants to show off its cutting edge technology while keeping the user experience light, as it should be for a device as small as this.  “Navigation is fluid,” “The digital crown fluidly zooms into apps.”  “It enables nimble, precise adjustment.” “ Apps designed for lightweight interaction.” “A linear actuator that provides haptic feedback to compliment your actions.”

Mr. Ive’s use of the word haptic here is touching, and a device that compliments my actions and looks stunning across three distinct collections is one that I and many more will be looking to get intimate with when it is launched early next year.


Image credit: Apple


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