The challenges of making technology truly personal

Two weeks ago Apple fans around the world were buzzing with excitement at the news of the release of the long awaited ‘Apple Watch’. And now the dust has settled, the inevitable droves of Apple critics have got to their keyboards criticising various aspects of the product surrounding its technical capability. But despite the negativity, most of Apples critics and fans alike can’t wait to strap one of these products around their wrist.

It seems therefore that Jony Ive and his team achieved their goal of ‘inspiring desire’. But by adapting their traditional functional aesthetic into something more friendly and personable, Apple’s first wearable product doesn’t really look like their other products we know and love. Instead, they are addressing the challenges of designing personal technology in a way not dissimilar to how we have been designing wearable injector pumps in the medical sector.

We have learnt that people need an extra layer of reassurance when technology comes into contact with the skin. There are therefore are a different set of emotional factors to consider when a device is ‘worn’, meaning issues of anxiety and control need to be carefully considered.

So with the launch of their first piece of wearable tech Apple have brought in world renowned industrial designer Mark Newson, who has previous experience in watch design. As well as appointing Fitness expert Jay Blahnik as Director of Fitness and Health technologies, known to be instrumental in the development of the popular Nike FuelBand.

It’s clear ‘health and wellbeing’ are playing an important role in this fast moving consumer tech space and hopefully it’ll bring with it a number of opportunities and learnings for our industry. We’ll be no-doubt watching developments closely!

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