WHO CAN BEAT THE APPLE WATCH

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Who can conquer the Apple Watch? Pebble, Sony, Microsoft, Casio, and Tag Heuer all have new editions planned or recent editions released as responses to the Apple Watch. But there is one company that could make a truly compelling competitor to the Apple Watch. The company best positioned for combat with Apple is AMAZON! The online-store has released a failed smartphone which may have tainted it’s appetite for the mobile space but the company has also released an incredible new offering that is getting rave reviews from the only people that really matter: it’ USERS!
The Amazon Echo is essentially a bluetooth speaker that is tied to a smart-virtual assistant. Think Siri-for your house. You can ask it questions, order it to compile lists, ask it to read the news- etc. When it was announced, the world of tech journalists collectively chuckled! They laughed at Amazon’s echo as if the company spray-painted a pringles can and put it on the market. It was the products early adopters that proved how useful the echo could be. Now you can order echo to turn on your home’s lights and it seems poised to become the living embodiment of IRON MAN’s Jarvis!

Despite it’s potential, Echo has one limitation, the speaker is stationary. You must be in the same room as JARVIS (I mean Echo) to use it. You can’t use it in other rooms without carrying around a Remote Control that sinks with Echo (which is clearly not an elegant solution). There are no satellite speakers for use in other rooms and once you leave your house Echo doesn’t exist. But what if Amazon released a smartwatch with a simple app that allowed you to interface with JARVIS- (I mean Echo) in other rooms or even away from home. A Wifi-enabled smartwatch seems like an obvious solution. Rumors have suggested for a long-time that Amazon wanted to release a free iphone competitor or something close to free that could be offered with Prime Memberships. A Free phone was never realized but at less than a quarter of the size, and only $83.70 to make, the Apple Watch or hopefully AMAZON WATCH could be cheaper to manufacture and bundle with prime memberships than the FIRE TABLET (currently offered with Prime Memberships). Most importantly, Echo would go everywhere it’s users go, giving Amazon the kind of access you would need to a user’s life to build the world’s first truly brilliant- smart assistant (JARVIS).

MORE THAN THE IWATCH: What Is Apple Planning

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The iWatch will debut on Tuesday, September 9th. As tech enthusiasts salivate over the possibility that the iWatch could usher in cashless payments at stores, and serve as a universal remote for home automation devices, unlocking doors, activating smart lighting systems, and turning on tv’s, they’ve lost sight of the one function we know the iWatch will be designed for: fitness!

Most smart-watches are poor fitness devices. They use pedometers that don’t accurately measure steps and heart rate monitors that loose contact with the skin or don’t work if your moving!

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There are better ways to measure running distance and better ways to measure heart-rate. Fitness bands fail because they are trying to find one approach and one place on the body to measure disparate fitness tasks. The alternative has always been to strap ungainly wires to every part of the body- and strangely this is precisely what we believe Apple will propose. Apple will indeed propose strapping sensors to every part of your body! This won’t be as unpleasant or ugly as it may sound. We believe that developments in tech and fashion have made it possible for wearable fitness devices to measure your exercise activities without being cumbersome, inconvenient or unattractive. The iWatch will serve simply as a relay device that collects data and communicates with other wearables specifically designed for each fitness task.

The best examples of our prediction are ironically found in non-Apple products. Intel recently announced a smart-shirt. According to the New York Times, “The shirt comes with conductive fibers that can track your heart rate and will be able to deliver information to a smartphone.” Ralph Lauren has similarly developed smart compression tops. They have “conductive threads that allow it to sense breathing and heart rate” (http://www.fastcodesign.com/3034808/can-ralph-lauren-take-smart-clothes-mainstream#1).

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We imagine that Nike could develop sneakers with simple pressure sensors that measure “actual” steps and actual distance travelled. We imagine Nike running shoes that prevent shin splints and injuries by telling your iWatch when runners are accumulating too much pressure on their feet.

Apple may not be going into fashion as a manufacturer but we believe Apple wants to usher in the era of smart wearable clothing, and position the iWatch as the defacto communications hub. Imagine trendy weightlifting gloves that communicate via bluetooth, how much weight you’re lifting.

The applications for an iWatch that communicates with smart clothes goes beyond fitness. We imagine that EXISTING products like the Mimo baby romper, which measures breathing, body temperature and sleep patterns in toddlers while relaying that information via Bluetooth, could work with the iWatch in the future.

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What we have come to believe is that the most powerful iWatch imaginable isn’t necessarily packed with sensors. It is in reality a rather simple communications device that speaks to home automation devices, store checkout counters through NFC or IBeacon and fitness wearables. The beauty of Apple’s device will be that any developer with virtually any product will be able to craft an interface that allows users to control a device with the iWatch. Smart stoves, smart clothes, smart guns, and smart cars alike will tap into the iWatch as a universal remote.