For property people, wearables, or computing devices that one ‘wears’ on one’s body via smart clothing or eyewear or jewellery, should be of great interest. For it is through interaction with the built environment that these things will find their killer application.
Today these devices, which the Apple Watch will explode interest in come its launch on April 24th, are mainly of use for those looking to track their exercise routines or for easy access to email or social media notifications. On a day to day basis they are not of great utility.
At the Apple Watch launch though we saw a couple of prototype applications which show where all this stuff is going. First off was an example of remotely opening a garage door to allow a delivery in. Fun but just as easy using your phone. The W Hotels app however nails the value. With this you would be recognised immediately upon entering your hotel, shown your room number and then, through your watch, be able to access your room. Now that removes a number of pain points we all recognise.
And it is in this interaction with ‘the space around us’ that wearables will flourish. Where now we need keys, or codes, or have to fill out paperwork these devices will simply deal with it.
The Apple Watch needs the Internet of Things. CISCO reckon 50 billion sensors will be installed by 2020. When cities are made smart it’ll be wearables that help unlock ‘the digital layer’. The Apple Watch will be huge; just not yet.
PS. First published in Estates Gazette 4th April 2015