Over the past months I have read quite a bit of speculations about Apple’s iWatch, and I am cautiously optimist about the its launch. No doubt the company has launched products which have reshaped the market landscape, but it has also been spinning out several ‘not very different from the previous one’ products. However, every single product launch sees an amount of buzz which is the envy of its competitors. There has been so much buzz about iWatch too. Seeing the past trend one may wonder if the iWatch is just going to be a ‘watch like something’ coming with iOS optimized for a smaller screen! The internet is abound with both optimistic and pessimistic speculations, and I am not going to add to the speculation grind mill with less than few hours to go before the launch. In this blog I am going to tell you what I, a strategic designer, will be keenly looking for as details of the iWatch are unveiled today.
How is Apple handling fashion, which is very much about self-expression?
Apple recently hired British luxury watch designer Marc Newson and it had hired Paul Deneve, formerly the CEO of fashion house Yves Saint Laurent some time ago, to work on “special projects”. Over the last two days, a news about Jonathan Ive‘s remark that the iWatch may screw Swiss watchmakers, has drawn quite some attention on the internet. The hiring of people from the field of fashion, and Ive’s remark, point to the fact that when it comes to form design, iWatch may be a fashion accessory (in addition to being other things), and a fashion accessory is essentially a medium for self-expression. Since each one of us is different in some way, innumerable variations in fashion accessories exist. I am curiously waiting to see how even when going the fashion accessory route to design, Apple will enable people (if at all) to express themselves uniquely through the iWatch. Perhaps the iWatch could come in a few different colors and form factors. Or perhaps, Apple could go a somewhat unexpected route and create many variations of iWatch by tying up with several renowned watch-makers and co-designing the interface with them – something similar to what Apple did with automobile makers for its CarPlay. Continue reading