SAN FRANCISCO – Apple CEO Tim Cook made some hefty promises on March 9. From the stage at Yerba Buena Center, Cook lauded a new device that lets you read email, make calls, receive reminders, pay for your groceries, control your tunes and assess your workout all from your wrist. That's right, the Apple Watch is (nearly) here.
Cook first announced the company's first wearable in his keynote address last September, but offered more details during the March 9 "Spring Forward" event -- where he also updated the audience on Apple’s performance to date, and introduced a few unexpected products.
The new and revamped products announced today include:
Apple Watch: Apple’s first wearable will launch April 24 (with pre-orders starting April 10). Pricing ranges from $349 to $10,000. The watch will offer all-day battery life and many new standalone applications and features.
12-inch MacBook: Apple announced a completely redesigned 12-inch MacBook offering the company’s first fan-less and almost port-less laptop. This is also the first consumer computer to launch with USB-C as the single port for charging and output.
ResearchKit: The company's open-sourced medical research development kit will allow researchers and universities to leverage the power of Apple’s 700 million strong network of iOS devices for medical breakthroughs.
Apple TV: Not only is the price of Apple TV lowered to $69, the company also announced a partnership with HBO to allow individuals to subscribe to the network for $14.99 per month -- without a cable contract.
The implications that products unveiled at Apple’s event will have on the public sector are many.
First, Bring Your Own Wearable (BYOW) is coming. With the Apple Watch release, it's only a matter of weeks until wearables begin making their way into the enterprise (and connecting to enterprise Wi-Fi networks). There is significant opportunity for wearables to be used as a new vehicle for health and contextual information dissemination for employees and citizens in the future.
Second, crowdsourced research is the future. Apple has quickly caught on to the power of collective intelligence to solve our most pressing societal problems. And the company has productized this in the form of a new global platform to use sensors within their 700 million device network -- a platform to help diagnose and record treatments for the world to learn from. This same network could be used for reporting potholes and other city issues in the future.
Third, USB-C is here to stay. Apple’s new MacBook announcement is one of the first products to use USB-C, which is a unified port for power, video output and other external devices. This new standard, developed in support with many large consumer technology companies, will become more and more common in laptops and computing solutions going forward.
On the whole, the Apple announcements made on March 9 were centered on the individual user experience – making technology personal. In the future, you can expect to see more consumer and enterprise technology companies build products and user-experiences focused solely around individual users. And these experiences will blend personal and enterprise use cases into new software and hardware applications that will redefine the way work gets done in the future.
Welcome to the new world of contextual, personalized user experiences.