Jony Ive on the design and technology of Apple Watch

Apple Watch - Official and Final Version from Slinky.Me on Vimeo.


Ironically, it was the mass adoption of the habit of carrying cell phones that almost threatened to make the wearing of watches seem obsolete. As of today, though, the high-tech battle to recolonize the naked 21st-century wrist just stepped up to megaforce. Years in the top-secret making, the Apple Watch is a rectangular gadget with rounded corners and a smooth sapphire crystal face. No messing about: All functionality aside, the Apple Watch is being launched as a personalizable object of beauty—a thing aimed to go straight to the centers of the brain where our lust for luxury and showing off reside.

Astrophysicists, top medical experts, mathemeticians, filmmakers, photographers, and musicians have been working with Apple’s tech boffins under the direction of the British industrial design legend Jony Ive, the man responsible for the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ were also revealed today, but it’s the companion gadget Apple is betting on as its next big game changer—a design calculated to be so pretty, so entrancing, so absorbing it will wipe out the competition from Samsung and other manufacturers of watchlike devices who have already launched into the wearable tech market.

Strangely enough, the visual appeal is almost retrofitted to the traditional language of the analog Swiss-made timepiece. It’s a watch that looks like a watch. It comes in two sizes and in choices of three materials, including 18K gold. There are six straps, which include metal bracelets and soft leather. Amongst the zillion choices of display, its face can be set to show the time, with hands and a dial, like an elegant old-school clock.

The extra magic is revealed by a twiddle of the dial—or as Apple calls it, “the Digital Crown”—which enables a zoom function and calls up a head-spinning array of properties and possibilities. The underside is fitted with four lenses, which monitor bodily functions—health- and fitness-tracking programs. It shows maps. You can set the watch to display exactly where you are on the globe, gaze at a picture that shows you exactly where the sun and moon are positioned from the spot on the earth on which you’re standing. More whimsically, you can set the face to show you a different, fluttering species of butterfly or flower every time it opens up.

The exact nature of more functions will be revealed by the time the Apple Watch comes to stores early next year. Promised amongst them are the ability to make card payments, open emails, and nudge fellow Apple Watch wearers with a new kind of sensory alert. The price for a basic model has been announced as $349. But will all this be enough to persuade an entire population to change its habits? Only time will tell.



18 Jan 2019 - 23:55

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