Apps for Apple Watch Have the Potential to Break New Ground

With the Apple Watch expected to debut as early as March, anticipation has been building in regards to the many exciting apps that will undoubtedly be designed to work with the new device. The tech behind the watch allows users to access information — photos, emails, text messages and Web-based content — with a simple glance, similar to our interaction with phones, only much more efficient. Apple released its SDK in November, and hundreds of companies are working to have apps ready for the product’s launch.

While there are pundits downplaying the hype, Morgan Stanley analysts optimistically project that Apple will sell 30 million units in the first year, and increase the company’s value by more than 10 percent in the process.

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The watch has the potential to make our use of contextual information and push notifications more efficient. Christopher Mims, writing for The Wall Street Journal, has seen some of the apps and says “some are extraordinary.”

“Along with the details Apple has already released about how the watch will work, it’s convinced me Apple Watch will be a launching pad for the next wave of billion-dollar consumer-tech startups,” suggests Mims.

The Apple Watch, backed by iBeacon technology, could significantly change how we interact with our apps and communication tools, especially when we abandon the idea of taking our phone out of a pocket, entering a passcode, and waiting for an app to load — and instead casually glance at our wrist and quickly and easily interact via short looks, long looks, taps, etc.

“Wearables have the potential to make the entire push-notification-based interaction model truly convenient, increasing both the number of contexts in which we’ll want to receive push notifications and the rate at which we can consume them,” writes Mims. “The result, based on what I’ve seen, is technology that allows you to both communicate with and consume not merely the Web, but physical space. Long the dream of computer scientists, this ‘augmented reality’ is what Google was aiming for when it conceived its ill-fated Google Glass project.”

The Apple Watch could inspire developers to create new technology, or make use of existing technology to serve a greater purpose. For instance, inMarket has already developed mapping technology to work with the Apple Watch that could improve a user’s in-store shopping experience and provide stores with valuable data about a customer’s whereabouts and purchases.

The Apple Watch’s “ability to connect us to what our phones already know about where we are and what we’re doing — augmenting our reality with a new layer of data — makes me think it could bring about profound behavioral change in its users,” concludes Mims.