I was underwhelmed by the Apple wearable product. It is impressive what they have done, but from a product design point of view the case looks cumbersome rather like a slightly better Samsung Gear. The use of haptics was one of the smarter things that I saw in the demonstration and the use of emoji as an essential ‘social lubricant’ learns from Asian mobile usage of stickers on the likes of LINE and WeChat.
Looking at the demonstrations, I still think that the use case for a wearable still isn’t there for mainstream consumers. The use cases for haptic communications for instance were downright creepy and I wasn’t convinced by the cloud of spots interface. The fitness app and workout apps were similar to products from the likes of Suunto and Polar or the miCoach app by adidas for a smartphone.
In terms of the industrial design, I was particularly interested in the strap. Apple has borrowed a distinctive looking catch and strap connector from one of the strap designs from the now defunct Ikepod Watch company co-founded by Marc Newson who recently joined Apple’s design team.
Overall I think that luxury brands won’t be particularly concerned, at least at this first iteration of the Watch.