Yes, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wearing his Apple Watch and checking it in Parliament (perhaps to see how many calories he burnt dealing with Bill Shorten's questions?). PHOTO: Andrew Meares
Ok, I have a confession to make; I was oddly excited about Apple Watch. Of course I was! What did you expect?! I was looking forward to Apple’s classic revolutionary product release like they did for iPod in 2001 and iPhone in 2007.
So, now the big blockbuster adrenalised testosteronised show is finally over, it is time to think rationally (BTW, I hate that) and find the answer to the million (or billion) dollar question.
How does Apple Watch impact productivity?
First of all, let's get something straight, Apple Watch is not an iPhone on your wrist. It might seem like a small iPhone but it is indeed a lot more than that. Surprised? Well, don’t be. You never pull out your iPhone just to check the marketing emails, however when someone taps you on your wrist you might want to check it out. Before you say anything, yes, that could potentially be annoying but who would deny the power of this new marketing channel, with the right targeted ads and just a touch of data mining. You have the potential of targeting more consumers. Imagine you are having a sale and people can purchase products right from their wrist.
How many times have you left your phone at your desk to have a “quick” chat with someone and when you got back bazillion emails were waiting for you? Happens to me everyday! (Don't tell my manager). One of the really handy features of Apple Watch is what I call interruptions. You can get interrupted with your emails, Texts, Calendars notifications, etc.
This feature seems very simple but surprisingly could help your employees to be more organised and won't miss out on crucial notifications. You can even review notifications such as texts or emails on your wrist when you are talking on your iPhone and decide to cut your phone call short or not.
Another Cool feature of Apple Watch, which is good for not so punctual employees, is the calendar management. This can tell you whereabouts you need to be and what's coming up at any point in the day — they're much more visible on your wrist than they are inside an app on your phone. The watch isn't just about limiting the time you have to spend with your phone; it can also reduce the time you sit at your desk too, freeing you up to take on other tasks.
The simplicity of interface of the Apple Watch saves time similar to an ePaper-based Kindle where the distraction possibilities are far less than tablets which you can constantly be tempted to check your Facebook or Twitter. Because of this focused driven design, it is harder to get distracted by other apps or concepts unrelated to what you were meant to do. It would seem obvious that using these wearables has made work a little bit easier and employees more productive. But is it really quantifiable? The answer is YES.
According to a study by Rackspace, The Human Cloud at Work, employees wearing wearables at work became 8.5% more productive and 3.5% more satisfied with their jobs. There really is no question that wearables have their place at the office or the factory floor. It goes beyond the classic time-motion studies in which you measure efficiency according to the standard time worked and how the employee laboured. Now you are working with data that has previously not been as easy or feasible to gather.
As significant and fun the mentioned features could potentially be, the concept goes much deeper. Let’s step back and look at the big picture. Over the past decades all of our interactions with computers were limited to ugly square shaped screens. From disgusting CRT monitors to glorious retina screens, all we mastered was to find better ways to disappear in our screens and as Jeremy Berke put it: “almost like that scene in Wall-E”
I don’t know about you but an image like this is horrifying to me. However, what doesn’t scare me is a gadget that becomes part of me instead of me becoming part of the gadget and get lost in it. Even something like Oculus Rift and other similar Virtual Reality techs, as innovative as they are, introduced new terms such as Virtual Reality sickness which causes symptoms similar to motion sickness.
Comparably I vote "Aye for Augmented Reality", simply because that could potentially add layers of digital information to my surroundings, helps me be more productive in interaction with my environment and NOT try to take me away from real world; like what sadly has become a very familiar scene of our lives.
What I predict is, in the coming decades we are entering a new era, that humanity is going to go through a shift and we are gradually going back to basics of our nature and will start building more natural machines. Apple Watch is just a beginning, it is far from ideal but it is on the right track.
[As written by one of Technical Consultants]