This past summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report. The big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we’re hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. Every other IT news items seems to be about IoT and its implications on the future of digital business.
The reasons for its popularity are not hard to find. In just the past 5 years or so technology has reached an inflection point in which social, mobile, analytic, and cloud (or SMAC) have advanced to the point of making ubiquitous computing possible. Smartphones and sensors and RFID chips are interconnected and integrated in ways never thought possible, giving users instant real-time updates on everything from home heating and cooling to car performance metrics to health fitness numbers.
Now enter Apple’s much hyped smart watch and you have an epic new digital revolution in the making! “Is that so?! How can you be so sure?” I can hear some of you protesting. Well, we need to put Apple in perspective and remember why people flock to buy its products. They buy them because they can’t do otherwise. The MacIntosh, iPod, and iPhone each revolutionized the way people interacted with technology through the mouse, through the click-wheel, and through multi-touch. And if past history is any indication we can’t help but think that Apple will also revolutionize the smartwatch industry starting next year.
Yes, indeed, the Apple Watch has big expectations to fill. But, the winds are blowing in Apple’s favor. For one, the smartwatch is a potentially epic device. If one company can corner this market, then it’s Apple (just like it did with the smartphone 7 years ago). Here’s why. Based on Moore’s Law we know that the PC has been steadily shrinking over the past 30+years. Now with release of the Apple Watch we may just be seeing another iteration of this trend, bringing us back full circle to where it all started in 1977. Imagine that possibility. From a computer in every home to a computer on every wrist!
Some have already claimed the yet unreleased $350 Apple Watch as a perfect expression of the Internet of Things. As one writer has well stated, “iOS 8 is the hidden revolution in personal computing, pulling together smartphones and tablets with car infotainment centers, home automation devices, health and fitness devices, and Macs.” He goes on to say that Apple Watch “rejuvenates” the whole smartwatch concept and in the process creates a new kind of personal computing device. In other words, Apple has just created a “new dimension for the Internet of Things.”
One of the reasons why the Apple Watch is creating this new channel for the Internet of Things has everything to do with what’s under the hood. For example, Apple’s biggest iOS release yet is number 8 and comes replete with a new Health app to help users manage their health and ﬁtness data. And for developers, Apple has added HealthKit, which will enable them to create great health and ﬁtness apps to work seamlessly together. Through these channels, along with its overhaul of the user experience of smartwatches, Apple is single-handedly building a consumer oriented health and fitness ecosystem which may well spawn a larger health revolution.
If everything goes as Apple planned, the Watch will become a record selling item within months of its release. With more users come more data endpoints. More data endpoints means more Internet of Things. And as the Internet of Things explodes and expands, this will mean more Apple Watches sold! The reciprocal nature between Apple Watch and the growth of Internet of Things can’t be stressed enough here. By revolutionizing the user experience of smartwatches, Apple is creating a major “new dimension,” or endpoint, for the Internet of Things.
Much more can be said on this topic but from all the signs we’ve seen so far, Apple Watch’s release in a few months may well signal an epic technological shift as the PC continues its downsized trajectory from our desktops to our pockets . . . and now to our wrists. Imagine it in these terms; just as the smartphone and mobile tablets fueled the Big Data movement, AppleWatch will do the same for the Internet of Things. The momentum is building. Consumers, developers, and businesses are lining up. Are you and your company ready to jump on board the exciting new revolution spawned by Apple Watch and IoT?