Wearable’s are entering B2C Commerce
Benjamin Clymer highlights the best parts of Apple’s newest hardware, as well as critically assesses features of design and software. While the article does not push much information about e-commerce, the author poses the question of whether the iWatch will impact a significant amount of consumers, so that regular watch makers, mechanical and digital, which have products in the same price range, will have to worry. The short answer is: ‘It Depends!“.
While Clymer does predict that only low- to middle-income consumers will be tempted, he does stress the natural behavior embedded into the watch which makes it hard to tell “where the software stops and the hardware begins”.
Perhaps a look at Doug Thompson’s article “Apple Launches an iBeacon [and they call it a watch]” helps turn the discussion to a homogenous view of the industry change. As the market reacts much better to Apple’s designs than their unique technology, it is worth noting that the iWatch is leaving competition in the dust on both frontiers. After multiple disputes concerning the strategy the tech giant, we finally see the answer to the iBeacon in the IOS context.
Young start-up industry leaders, such as Estimote, Kontact and Ifinity have opted-in Apple’s iBeacon standards, which follows compatibility protocol with IOS and OSX devices.
Beacons are mini-computers with a multitude of sensors, from WI-FI and Bluetooth, to Temperature, Database analytics, proximity sensors and others. The implication for B2C companies is two-fold. By augmenting the physical world in-stores, the Internet becomes a medium that serves customers in the digital as much as in the physical. As long as customers are willing to adopt the new technology, business models will gave to be reimagined, as internet-only behavior might be mixed in with traditional brick-and-mortar behavior.
Coming back to the role of iWatch, Apple has predicted the resistance of current customers to adapt new behavior for their mobile phones and have therefore introduced a new gadget, where interacting with iBeacons through your SmartWatch will be the norm. If successful, Apple might once again set the trend in from of its competitors, by targeting customer behavior, usability and context, instead of just throwing a small screen on the wrist and hope consumers will know what to do with it.