Five ideas on how Apple watch can enhance your app, service and brand

Posted on September 27, 2014

Apple recently announced that they will be releasing a new wearable device, the Apple watch early in 2015. This is clearly a new type of device and the big question that was not really answered by Apple is how will the watch enhance our lives.

Why would I decide to buy a new Apple computer to wear on my wrist? What are the advantages of doing so? These questions will need to answered to a significant degree before we can be sure about what the Apple watch means to us.

On a personal level, of course, we will need to decide if the Apple watch is something that we would want to wear, and if so, will we be willing to purchase it?

On the next level, we also need to decide whether we want to invest in creating a presence on the Apple watch. Should our applications or our brands be available to Apple watch users?

To answer this question of course, we need to know who those users will be, and I think that this will largely be determined by the use cases that are available for the watch. One could argue that the Apple watch is essentially a fashion item. If that is the case, it is completing with other mid-range watches, shoes, clothes and even bling for cars. So for Apple watch to be successful, to be an attractive platform for development, it needs to be much more that just fashion. It needs to be valuable to our lives.

So what use-cases can the Apple watch address? Here are some ideas:

  1. Notifications:
    This is the use-case that Apple demonstrated during their September event. For sure, if you have applications that generate useful notifications, like twitter, this is an important use-case.

  2. Geo-localisation:
    As the Apple watch can display notifications, it can also display them based upon the location of its partner iPhone. If your brand or service is location-based, for example Foursquare’s Swarm, the watch can be a great place to receive them. Understanding and leveraging this can be a great source of value for brands and retail.

  3. Multiplayer Games:
    The interaction model of Apple watch is clearly a set of very small interactions. For a certain set of multiplayer games, it could vastly reduce the friction in participating. Think, for example Tic-Tac-Toe (Noughts and Crosses). The level of interaction required is low and it would be really easy to play on the Apple watch’s small screen. Again, great for brand-supported small games. Who will be the first brand to bring Tic-Tac-Toe to the Apple watch?

  4. Control:
    What would you like to control that taking your iPhone out for might be too much effort? Think about home-kit – would you like to use your Apple watch for opening your garage door? It’s much easier than digging out the iPhone you’re currently sitting on, or left in your bag in the car’s trunk/boot.

  5. Transit:
    Okay, not everyone drives a car, some people prefer to take transit. Imagine that you want to choose the best bus to take. Your watch can tell you the next departures near to where you are (especially if you have a predefined list of services you take). You can then select the best service and receive updates on when the next bus will arrive. This kind of service, where you want frequent updates, is perfect for the Apple watch.

These ideas can be deepened in the context of particular services, brands and applications. Yet they do indicate that there can be significant use-cases for the Apple watch that can, combined, make it an interesting purchase for a large number of consumers.

How do you feel that this can enhance your brand or the service that you offer?

Leave your ideas, concerns or comments below!