What can Apple bring to the table, er, wrist, that Timex and any one of hundreds of cheap watches don’t already provide consumers?
That’s the question Harvard Business Review’s H. James Wilson asks today, and he comes up with a fascinating answer.
The iWatch, he says, won’t actually be a watch at all.
“Using evidence and a bit of logic,” says Wilson, “I bet the iWatch will be much less a time piece and much more platform for auto-analytics and managing yourself.”
He points to the growing trend of devices on Apple Store walls that actually measure our own bodies, tracking our stats, and other wearable tech. There are things like Fitbits, Nike Fuelbands, and iHealth scales and blood pressure monitors hanging right up there with the earpods, iPhone cases, and (yes) iPod nano wristwatch bands.
Apple’s strength in designing products that we don’t even know we need lies in its ability to simplify complicated sources of information into a cohesive display or operating system. There are a ton of analytics floating about out there, including our schedules, our contacts, our health data, and our connections to other people. Imagine putting all of these sources of info into one place. With an iWatch, says Wilson, Apple can do the same thing, can “make users’ experience of time more intimate by tying it to who they are and what they care about.”