Industry Insights

What's next for the Apple Watch?

Back in March, just ahead of the launch of the Apple Watch, Panintelligence Product Director Ken Miller had written a blog post about its potential impact.

While smart phones have become commonplace, a number of critics were uncertain about the penetration of the smart watch, particularly because not many young people wear watches anymore.

Other manufacturers were selling smart watches before Apple and  new ones will be introduced into the market after. So, a couple of months on since the launch of the much hyped Apple Watch, has there been any impact?

Actually there has been some interesting developments, but not in the areas that many expected. In July 2014, a year before the Apple Watch was launched, a partnership was announced between Apple and IBM.

Apple and IBM announced a partnership on Tuesday to create “made-for-business” apps for iOS devices with the help of big data.

Source: Apple and IBM partner to launch 'made-for-business' apps - Fortune The goal was to give Apple greater presence in business markets. In March 2015 Apple and IBM launched eight new apps aimed at new markets, including healthcare and industrial products. This is in addition to banking, retail and law enforcement. Healthcare is a new industry and apps include the Hospital RN for the iPhone.

Apple IBM The Hospital RN app for iPhone frees staff nurses from multiple pagers and phones, and gives them the ability to access any patient’s records from anywhere in the hospital.

With iBeacon technology, Hospital RN accurately identifies patients by location so nurses can easily access their records and provide appropriate care.

Source: Apple + IBM add 8 new enterprise iOS apps, first for industrial products & healthcare industries | 9to5Mac At the end of May 2015, Apple updated its websites with details on a variety of IBM enterprise apps.

The Field Connect app will apparently send information regarding weather, power outages, or any sort of hazard that may impact a field technician’s job straight to a user’s watch.

For public safety officials, the Incident Aware app will stream urgent alerts to one’s Apple Watch.

It’s easy to imagine a police officer getting a ping on his or her watch that lets them know about dangerous situations as they respond to a distress call.

Source: IBM brings business apps to the Apple Watch - Fortune The common and most interesting feature of all of these apps is that instead of relying on the wearer's memory, information is being pushed to them via a series of alerts, making it a proactive reporting tool.

While these apps may not be very complex at this stage, the significant investment IBM made in Watson Health unit, to analyse huge amounts of healthcare data, this indicates they are planning for the long term.

With healthcare apps pushing information to medical professionals there are many opportunities for the information to be connected to Watson Health for more detailed data analytics and diagnostics in the future.

While it may be early days to see if consumers have been swayed by the Apple Watch, businesses are making long term plans to utilise the technology to improve the way we work in a variety of industries with a mobile workforce.

Written by Ken

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