The Apple Event yesterday was all about the new features of Apple’s latest products – but can we as business leaders learn from Apple and what are the latest trends in the tech industry?
Technology & Personalisation
One of the key questions we always ask our clients is how well do you know your audience and are your products built for purpose? Apple’s latest Apple Watch is an innovative approach to addressing the unique differences in its customers’ needs, with distinctive colours, materials, styles and faces. For us, the faces are one of the most creative components of the latest watch that just keep expanding.
“The watch face is the most powerful and personal aspect of Apple Watch. Our approach to face design begins with a deep respect for the history of timekeeping. We combine that sense of craft with the powerful technologies and capabilities of Apple Watch to create these new faces.” VP, Human Interface Design
The newest face designs include the:
- GMT Face: This face shows multiple time zones at once and takes into account where you are..
- Count-up Face: This face lets you start tracking elapsed time from any given point.
- Chronograph Pro Face: Inspired by classic racing watches, this face features multiple time scales, including a tachymeter to measure speed based on time travelled over a set distance.
- Typograph Face: In this face, numerals can be displayed in three custom typestyles and four different scripts.
- Artist Watch Faces: Apple collaborated with artist Geoff McFetridge to create a unique piece of art for your watch. There are millions of combinations and a different one animates when you raise your wrist.
- Memoji Face: This face brings your favorite Memoji to your watch. Each one moves and reacts to your touch.
- Stripes Face: In this face, you can show your pride in who you are and support your favourite team or even match what you’re wearing.
They’ve also given developers more tools to build even more specialised and personalised watch faces that are bespoke to a wide variety of different career professions such as:
- A watch face for surfers with apps like Dawn Patrol to check surf conditions
- A watch face for photographers with apps like Lumy to help you track the sun’s position
- A watch for healthcare providers with apps like Notable to see your upcoming appointments
Apple has definitely raised the bar in their creativity, but more importantly, have gone a step further in building products that help provide solutions to its users’ problems.
Technology & Holistic Health
In early wearable health technology, companies mainly focused on keeping track of calories, physical activity and heart rate. However, in the past few years, this focus has shifted due to the rise of holistic health, which is essentially treating the “whole” person. In order to reach optimal health, a person must work to fulfil all 8 pillars of holistic health, with those being physical, nutritional, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, financial and environmental.
Today, there are apps and technology that you can use to keep track of your mental health, budget better, connect with like-minded individuals, learn new skills and more.
With Covid-19, Apple’s continued to expand its focus on helping users address problems as they arise that could keep them from reaching optimum levels of health, and this year, watchOS 7 adds several important health features including:
- The Sleep App: This uses motion sensors to track your sleep.
- Automatic Hand Washing Detection: This feature recognises the motion and sound when you wash your hands and encourages you to wash them for the recommended 20 seconds.
- VO2 Max Monitoring: According to scientists, VO2 max (also known as maximal oxygen consumption, peak oxygen uptake, maximal oxygen uptake or maximal aerobic capacity) is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during exercise of increasing intensity (also known as incremental exercise). This watch model now uses your motion and heart rate to measure a lower range of VO2 max values, which is the most accurate way to measure cardio fitness levels but is usually only measured in speciality clinics. Later this year, you will be able to receive a notification if these levels drop.
However, the new technology and health sensor that the latest watch series offers is a life-saving game-changer especially in the world right now. With Covid-19, the primary symptom is difficulty breathing and loss/lack of Oxygen.
With an Apple Watch Series 6, you can measure your blood Oxygen right from your watch in just 15 seconds. The new health sensor in Series 6 shines red and infrared light onto your wrist and measures the amount of light reflected back. Advanced algorithms then use this data to calculate the colour of your blood, which indicates the amount of oxygen present. It also captures periodic background readings and stores them in your Apple Health App.
What the user can do with this type of data is extensive. Not to mention, if Apple can collect anonymous data on users in different parts of the world – they could help global leaders more accurately gauge environmental and air quality based on average Oxygen levels of people in different areas of the world who have similar characteristics. In addition to this, this new technology can also help researchers understand the long-lasting effects of the fires, which have been raging along the West Coast of the United States, on lung health of people in those areas – and help predict things like the probability of lung cancer and more. The opportunities are endless.
Technology & Safety
In July and August, the #SaveOurChildren hashtag began trending around the world to protest child trafficking and criticise practices and policies put in place by government agencies globally.
Apple’s awareness and dedication to protecting children are apparent with Family Setup. With Family Setup, you can use your iPhone to pair watches for your children who don’t have a phone and they will have their own phone number and account.
While it enables greater independence, you have the comfort of knowing your child is just a call away but with the safety and communication features that technology can deliver in a device that can be managed responsibly.
For instance, you can specify the contacts your kids can communicate with when using messages and more. More importantly, you can set up automatic location notifications so you are reassured your child is exactly where you can expect them to be.
While this may not seem like much, I can’t tell you the difference this type of technology could make – but it could go a step further such as adding a panic button that a child presses in the event they are taken as well as designing other clothing and accessories that are GPS traceable even if the watch is taken off of the child.
If you’re interested in using technology to combat issues such as these, please get in touch as we would love to get involved. As well, you can look at this article here if you want more information on ways you can fight human trafficking.
Technology & Your Global Footprint
A great deal of the technologies that we consume in our lives are very harmful to the environment, causing air, water, heat and noise pollution, as well as consuming non-renewable resources and precious metals in addition to producing “techno trash”, disrupting ecology and creating health hazards.
As such, technology companies need to be mindful of their carbon footprint and look at ways they can reduce their impact on the world around them.
So what is Apple doing to protect the environment and what are some similar practices you can adopt? According to Apple, its commitment to the environment spans every aspect of what the company does from product design and the materials used within Apple products to how Apple products are manufactured. This is why the company is working to help its manufacturers transition to renewable energy after adopting it themselves.
We’re proud that all of our corporate operations worldwide are carbon neutral. And we’ve done it by replacing dirty energy with clean renewable power. All of our offices, retail stores and data centres run on 100% renewable energy.Lisa Jackson, Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple
Since 2019, Apple’s aluminium watch cases have been made with 100% recycled aluminium, and for Series 6, the company is now using 100% recycled rare earth elements and tungsten in the Taptic Engine. The company is also aware that customers have been accumulating USB power adapters, which consumes resources and adds to the company’s carbon footprint. That’s why they are removing the USB power adapter from Apple Watch.
The company has also cut its comprehensive carbon footprint by 35% since 2015 and plans to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030 for its entire end-to-end footprint including supply chain and products.
Are you in with the latest Apple trends?
We’ve unpacked a lot here today, but hopefully, you have gained some insight into the small steps you can take to better understand your customers and create a better world for everyone via technology. Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have a project that you think will change the world, we’d be happy to help!