The launch of the highly anticipated Apple Watch is still more than a week away, but it’s safe to say things are off to a solid start. One million pre-orders and counting, according to analysts, were made in the first weekend alone. While these numbers don’t match the madness we’ve seen from other Apple products in the past, the numbers only represent a page from the story Apple Watch has to share with the world in the coming months.
While the feature set and price point for the device are certainly staples in conversation, they can’t be counted as game changers. We’ve seen similar features from competitors, millions of which are already found on wrists around the globe. And that steep price point? Remember, when the original iPhone launched in 2007, fans paid $499 (with a contract) for a mere 4GB.
So how exactly does a device rivaled by competitors in what capability it has and thwarted by consumer sticker shock succeed? By bringing simplicity and need to the lives of our Average Joe. With the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple will marry the proliferation of its customer base with its ingenuity in technology. Launching a product alone isn’t what will create its success, watching what a broad customer base will do on its behalf will.
For any mobile technology to be successful, it can’t force us to break our habits, but enhance them. With size on its side, Apple is poised do just that. Consider the possibilities between peer-to-peer connections and the opportunities keep our networks and interactions closer than ever before and now you have a game changer.
Research suggests that a third of consumers who have purchased a piece of wearable technology abandon it within the first six months. It’s the necessity of community and the action of true mobility that Apple brings to the table that will change this behavior. Apple’s entrance into the wearables market will force us not to think “how I can I make an experience smaller and put it on someone’s wrist?” but rather “what we can learn from our behaviors and create simplified experiences around them?” Layering into these experiences mechanics designed not only to serve a purpose, but to also keep consumers engaged, starts to uncover an interesting intersection of function and entertainment that can keep consumers from falling off of the wearables bandwagon.
As the Apple Watch launch draws closer, it’s this intersection that our team here at Dragon Army is most keen to explore. We’re keeping a close eye on how to best borrow the mechanics we know drive engagement from mobile game design and apply them to real world scenarios through the device that will now live closer to a consumer than any other.
While its true Apple Watch will likely not be mainstream by the time it launches on April 24, the precedent it sets for mobile is carving the path for what’s possible with the future of mobile interaction in a big way.