I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch for the last four weeks. I’ve held off writing anything about it because I wanted to give myself enough time to actually use it and begin to understand what it really means to strap a piece of technology to my body.
In the run up to the launch, Apple billed the Watch as the most personal device it had ever created and at the end of my first month wearing one, I can honestly say this is a very accurate assessment.
Save for one day, when I deliberately left it on my nightstand to see how it felt to not have it as part of my daily routine, it hasn’t left my wrist. Even my iPhone, which I consider nearly indispensable, occasionally leaves my side – mainly to recharge. Wearing an Apple Watch brings a new level of intimacy to technology. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s definitely a different relationship.
Let me get this out of the way first: You don’t need an Apple Watch. I bought the first iPhone on day 2 after its launch. I lined up with hundreds of others to buy the first iPad. I preached both enthusiastically to others. But the Watch is different. There is understandably a lot of apprehension – perhaps even scorn – when thinking about whether to take the leap to this new device.
But I can honestly say, once I put it on and integrated it into my life, I haven’t really wanted to take it off.
It’s the little things: quick peeks at what’s coming up on my calendar. Rapid replies to and acknowledgements of iMessages from my business partners, friends and family. The Watch affords a level of convenience that it is undoubtedly welcome in my life. These were all things that I used to have to dig out my phone to do. A hassle.
There are also those moments when I truly feel like I live in the future. From scanning my boarding pass at the airport, to buying a coffee at Peet’s, to opening the door to my hotel room with just a flick of my wrist.
And my kids love that I can ask Siri to instantly play any song on demand in the car.
That said, the third-party apps available for the Watch are generally pretty lackluster right now. But I attribute this to the lack of a native SDK for developers to use at launch, plus a genuine lack of understanding to date of what users really want from the device. I suspect this will be mostly remedied when version 2.0 of the Watch OS launches this fall.
One app that has genuinely surprised me with its usefulness however is the Redfin app. At a glance, you can swipe up at anytime or place and see what home is for sale nearby. It sounds pointless, but it’s really a lot of fun and I find myself doing it frequently.
It’s the kind of activity I would never do with my iPhone: pull it out of my pocket, fire up the app and see what’s nearby – which all seems like far too much trouble. But I think that’s exactly the point. The Watch excels at simple activities we wouldn’t use our smartphones for, but can still find great utility in.
I think this is the great opportunity in technology that sits in front of us right now. And, of course, I can’t help but consider this more deeply in the context of real estate.
A few ideas off the top of my head:
- A glance that instantly gave you, the professional, real-time intelligence on a home (the deep stuff – liens, NODs and other public records goodies) so you always know everything when you bump into clients or prospects
- Instant alerts on changes in status or price on properties you are following for clients
- Offers and counter offers presented as notifications to the Watch with simple thumbs up or thumbs down responses
- Deeper integration through Siri to data sources like mortgage rates, amortization schedules and more
All would be instantly useful – but not something you would necessarily take the time to dig into to try to find on your phone.
There are certainly other uses that we will see over the coming years. And while I won’t be so bold as to predict the market success of the Apple Watch, I am more convinced than ever about the potential for the wearable category to change the way we work and interact with technology.
I encourage you to try one on and see for yourself.