The Apple’s iwatch, first of its kind, is set to be launched on 29th April, 2015. The debate is rife, even within our team, if the 18K gold iwatch edition qualifies for the ‘luxury’ tag. Where’s the craftsmanship, the finesse in design, the limited edition pieces each so painstakingly put together, the jewels and complications of another kind? Rina Sen Goel had another point of view.
By Rina Sen Goel
For the past six months, enthusiasts from all walks of society have been in a ferment of anticipation and delight at the idea of another design miracle from Apple, and…. Hallelujah! Apple does not disappoint on a single score.
First and foremost, for readers like you, here is elegance, style, quality and price – all in one, enough to make you admire the solidity of rare material, the design quirks that make your life easier and the avant-garde technical aspects that makes the watch keep you in the future-forefront of technology. Trust Apple to think of everything!
Prices start as low as UK£299 for the basic variant and then climb up steadily to UK£12,000. This is child’s play for true blue Apple lovers, and now also for the fashion-conscious, the industrialist, the corporate lawyer, the attorney and also, why not you?
Let’s talk design. The best part of the Apple watch is that it’s not a ‘watch’ but a series of watches, with clever, tucked away design elements that segues seamlessly with the lifestyle of let’s say, Richard Branson on his yacht on one hand, to Adriana Lima on the runway on the other, and yet again, sits comfortably on male and female wrists, in formal or informal situations for you or me, if we want to show off just a little.
In an ingenious move, Apple’s design team has pulled out 34 variants in genie fashion, suitable for every need and every want. The watch face comes in two sizes – in 1.5 inches and 1.6 inches, a subtle nod to Venus and Mars, that is a new twist to Apple’s erstwhile egalitarian approach to design. The Watch Sport is rugged, for example, and has a strengthened Ion-X glass face. In a light anodized aluminium case, it works very well for the young scion of the family who may use it for his squash doubles practice. For the fashion conscious diva, the Apple Watch Edition is beautiful in its 18-carat goldcase in yellow or rose gold. That model even comes in a fancy leather box that doubles as a charging cradle. The Apple watch face could be sapphire or Ion-X glass, with six different finishes – Stainless Steel, Silver Aluminium, 18-Carat Yellow Gold, Space Black Stainless Steel, Space Gray Aluminium and 18-Carat Rose Gold, each as luscious as possible.
In a nod to a multiplicity of tastes, Apple has pushed the envelope and thrown in a variety of straps to choose from and these in rainbow colours. So when the son is sporting the lime green Ion-X in a sport band, rest assured that your sapphire face Apple 18 carat gold watch in its Classic buckle strap will be perfect glinting behind the Audi’s wheel. And if a plethora of such customised elements were not enough, Apple has thrown in several watch faces for your buying pleasure. While you are at it, buy at least half a dozen.
Apart from pure, mouth-watering genius design, Apple has thrown in a mind-boggling user interface, using a ‘Digital Crown’ that you use to navigate, swipe, zoom and by using the Apple Force Touch technology, you can press hard on the watch face for contextual menus. Obviously, wearable technology has just leapt and grabbed centre stage.
There are scores of ‘new’ elements in the Apple watch that bears long and painstaking listing – be it the Taptic Engine feedback that prods your wrist when you receive notifications or Watch Apps called Glances and the Siri voice recorder; it feels so normal to know that you can talk to your Apple watch and your watch can talk back to you!!
Two elements give us a tiny pause. First is the battery life. Apple says it will run for 18 hours, but many use of apps drain the watch much faster. So daily charging seems inevitable. The second issue is that unlike the cool James Bond- like watches that could do anything, Apple watch will be relatively sedate and not work as a camera, at least for now. It can sync with you iPhone however; provided your variant is i5 or above.
Apple has used the watch platform to push its health beliefs in a strong manner. Painstaking focus is evident in the fitness and health apps inbuilt in the watch. The calorie watcher keeps a hawk’s eye on how much youactually move and how much you should. Sensors pick up your heart rate, even your blood pressure and of course count every step you take. For those who dearly love their siesta or wish to lie down on their chaise longue and read the latest blockbuster while sipping a martini, rest assured that your watch will prod you to a more active way of living! There is also a Workout app that will show you how far, how fast, and how long you’ve been exercising. These apps sync with your iPhone so you can track your progress over time.
Aficionados and mainstream enthusiasts will find the Apple Watch irresistible. There is such a lot of inventiveness, planning, detail, thought and above all, there is a keen eye on the future needs of a generation that has come into its own, has plenty of money and is willing to embrace wearable technology quickly.
People are already calling it ‘The Watch of the Future.’ So strap it on, and then buy it. The future cannot wait.