Wait and Watch

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Published: March 12, 2015 2:53:35 AM

The real test of the Apple Watch is whether it can live up to Steve Jobs’s legacy

With wearables and Internet of Things all the rage in digital technology, the buzz around the newest Apple Watch prototype is understandable. What tech-watchers will be keen to see is if the Watch, the first non-Steve Jobs product from Apple, lives up to the company’s legacy of revolutionising technology—the iPhone ushered in the smartphone revolution, the iPad got the tablet market rolling while the iPod remains the most significant thing to have happened to music on-the-go in the digital age. Though wearables, especially smart-watches, saw a flurry of entries, from Samsung’s Gear, to LG’s Watch Urbane to Tizen to Pebble, the market has remained sluggish. Will Apple Watch be able  to change that?

It is not clear at the first instance if Watch is poised to cause the shift. Tech gurus and reviewers have been generally lukewarm about its potential. Though it will do everything your smartphone does, only faster, and on your wrist, its full range of functions is only unplugged with an iPhone. To that end, the Watch becomes an expensive accessory (starting at $350) to your iPhone. However, the Watch holds significant promise as a wearable health-monitoring device. Used with Apple’s HealthKit—a range of apps that monitor and analyse the user’s vital details, from heartbeat to blood pressure to glucose levels, and offer feedback—the Watch becomes an on-the-go health tracking system. And with ResearchKit, the other recently-unveiled product from Apple, there are huge gains for biomedical research.

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