As a self-admitted Apple fan-boy, I was eagerly awaiting Apple’s latest product announcement made by Tim Cook this September. Rumor had it that Apple planned to unveil its first wearable device. The idea excited me, mostly because I had no idea why I might want or need one. Hopefully Apple would let me know…
As anticipated, Apple CEO Tim Cook did unveil the Apple Watch – the most significant product announced in the post Steve Jobs era. I definitely have mixed feelings about the watch. It’s not cheap, starting at $349, but also not out of line with high end watch lines. Plus, I’m not sure I have an appetite for yet another device tethered to my person. If anything, there is growing appeal for disconnecting and simplifying my digital lifestyle.
While some of us assumed the Apple Watch would simply be another fitness tracker, it is much more than that. It is a serious platform, and one that welcomes 3rd party developers to imagine, invent, and build on top of it. And really, that’s where things get exciting. It’s not just what Apple delivers out of the box. It’s what comes next.
MLB was highlighted during the product announcement demonstrating that the MLB At Bat app will provide realtime scores to the fan’s wrist, making it easier to keep an eye on your favorite games without being one of “those guys” staring at his phone instead of interacting with your friends or co-workers. On CNBC MLB.com’s Bob Bowman embraced the newly announced Apple Pay mobile payment system which employs a near field communication antenna on the Watch and the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Bowman anticipates a new experience for attendees. Fans will purchase their tickets on their phone, scan their wrist or phone at the turnstile, and even purchase merchandise and concessions more easily with ApplePay and other mobile payment services. As a sport event season ticket holder, I’m excited about the prospects of entering the stadium more quickly and getting through the concession line more easily. A shorter wait time in line is always a plus!
While I’m not rushing out to pick up an Apple Watch when they are available in early 2015, I will drop by the local Apple Store to check it out as soon as possible. It never hurts to wait for the 2nd generation of a new device like this. One often sees performance improvements, kinks worked out, and the device shrinking in thickness by generation-2. That should buy plenty of time for developers to launch their Apple Watch apps, and those are what have the best chance of luring me to the product.
I will admit that I am pretty excited about the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which include pretty amazing photographic capabilities. Sports fans and concert goers sporting these devices will be sharing some amazing photos and video. Here are some highlights courtesy of Apple.com.
- Focus Pixels for faster autofocus (important at a live event)
- Face Detection for better portraits and group shots.
- Exposure Control (up to four f-stops in either direction)
- High Resolution Panorama (43MP)
- 1080p HD video at 60fps.
- Slow motion capabilities that will be awesome for capturing live action
- Continuous video autofocus and cinematic stabilization for a steady, smooth video result
- Time Lapse video
- And FaceTime in HD for when you want to connect with friends and family face to face.