This week in wearable tech: Apple Watch Series 4 dominated the news cycle, dazzling at the company’s keynote event and impressing with its looks and features.
The Week in Wearables is a news digest, out each week, focused on some of the things that have happened in the world of tech you can wear on your wrist, perch on your head, stick in your ear, sling around your waist, tuck into the small of your back or, well, you get the idea.
Apple Watch Series 4 Finally Revealed
Apple’s long-awaited fall keynote took place on Tuesday and finally, the biggest rumors and leaks were put to rest as the real thing was announced. Although Apple presented it as the curtain-raiser to the iPhone, the timepiece stole the show.
The slimmer profile, the display with narrow bezels and the gorgeous new Watch faces will surely be enough to tempt many to buy into the Apple Watch system, and the reduced price on the Series 3 can’t hurt, either.
And that’s before you consider the benefits of an improved processor with increased responsiveness. Most importantly, there’s the prospect of super-accurate heart reading with ECG (electrocardiogram) thanks to electrodes in the Digital Crown and Watch’s ceramic back.
Read more here at Forbes.
And if you’d like more details of what was announced, beyond the hands-on above, there’s information aplenty, also on Forbes.
Oh my, but it’s beautiful. Previous Apple Watches have always looked great but this changes every part of the package. A subtle evolution of a favorite design has resulted in a watch that’s altogether more classy and attractive.
Partly, that’s down to the new size – the case sizes are marginally taller and wider but not as deep.
Previous dimensions were 38mm and 42mm, being the heights of the cases. These have marginally increased to 40mm and 44mm, but even when held side by side the differences are almost imperceptible. Only when you turn the old and new models on their side do you see the difference: this new watch has been on quite the diet and is noticeably thinner from front to back.
The result is something that feels lighter and more manageable on the wrist.
Read more, here on Forbes.
Jony Ive says it’s significant
The Apple designer spoke to the Washington Post on how he felt about the new Watch.
Ive, Apple’s chief designer, gave Apple’s original wearable device a complete makeover in form and function. The Apple Watch Series 4, which Apple also introduced Wednesday as part of its annual product event, is slimmer and has new health tracking features such as the ability to take an electrocardiogram and detect hard falls — and is increasingly independent from the iPhone. That gives it a more profound purpose, in Ive’s vision, and sets it apart from other technology.
“Every bone in my body tells me this is very significant,” Ive said in an interview in the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s headquarters following the event. Ive, like the former Apple CEO who was his close friend, speaks of Apple innovations with fervor. The new watch “will be a more marked tipping point in understanding and adoption of the product. ”
Read more at the Washington Post.
Swatch, Tissot, Fossil, other Swiss brands could suffer
According to Reuters, the health features on the new Apple Watch could hit rival makers’ sales.
Apple has rapidly gained share in the watch market, with connected technology research firm CCS Insight estimating that the tech giant will come close this year to matching worldwide sales of Swiss-made watches, which had shipments of 24 million units in 2017.
Exports of Swiss watches in the entry-price segment — a retail price of up to around $500 — have steadily declined over the past years, with competition from smartwatches one of the factors responsible.
Brands in that price range include Swatch Group’s Swatch and Tissot, the Mondaine brand and fashion watches made by U.S. watchmaker Fossil.
“The Apple Watch continues to improve and provide additional relevant functions. I think this will represent a harder and harder challenge to entry-price Swiss-made watches, which are not in a position to stay relevant,” Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said.
More at Reuters.