There’s no dispute that Apple is a market trendsetter, and today’s “Spring Forward” media event will undoubtedly keep people talking until the new products hit the shelves. Here are the five trends from today’s event that marketers need to know:
Wearables Peak With “Glanceable” Notifications
With the Watch’s official launch set for April 24, the wearables market is poised to hit a historic boom as all wearable makers gear up to capitalize on the forthcoming public attention. And as notifications move from mobile devices to the user’s wrist, it will become more important to provide “glanceable” content that can be easily addressed or ignored. Brands will need to experiment to deliver the right notification at the right moment or risk overwhelming the consumer.
Tech and Fashion Continue To Converge
The Apple Watch has three different collections, each with two finishes and six watch bands made of different materials. Among all these stylistic options, however, the one that stands out is undoubtedly its 18-karat gold edition—priced at $10,000—which marks Apple’s official entry into the luxury goods market. By limiting distribution, Apple is clearly taking a page out of high-fashion brands’ playbook, furthering the convergence of tech and fashion.
Further Integration Across Interfaces
Besides continuity between the Apple Watch and new MacBook, Apple is also making a play for the connected car and smart home. Not only are all major car manufacturers committed to integrating Apple’s CarPlay into new models, Apple also mentioned it is working with leading brands in home automation to expand the reach of its HomeKit platform. During the Watch demo, for example, Apple showcased a remote garage door control powered by alarm.com.
The Quantified Self Connects With Healthcare
Further integrating self-generated health data and healthcare, Apple highlighted a new ResearchKit that could potentially revolutionize the field of medical research. By partnering with several prestigious medical institutions, Apple’s new open-source platform will allow medical researchers to easily create apps that gather medical data. The company is also carefully balancing privacy concerns by making all studies opt-in and hiding results from Apple.
Displays Keep Getting Thinner And Sharper
Apple also stunned the crowd with the thinnest and lightest MacBook to date (13.1mm at the thickest and weighs just 2 pounds), and improving image quality with a 12-inch Retina display. As more and more devices upgrade to retina screens, brands need to make sure they are developing high-resolution content.
Header image taken from Apple.com
Live from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, it’s the IPG Media Lab! We’re on the ground covering the latest news from the conference. As expected, the major consumer electronic players are very well represented at MWC:
- Samsung looks to have the next big hit on its hands with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. It supports wireless charging (Qi and PMA), a payments platform, and perhaps the fastest camera ever included in a smartphone to date.
- LG’s new Urbane LTE smart watch may be the best-looking smart watch we’ve seen. However, this designation might be short-lived, as Apple’s March 9th event is quickly approaching.
- China’s Huawei (pronounced “Wah-Way”) is continuing the momentum they captured at CES earlier this year; their exhibitor area has been well attended and their new smart watch has garnered a lot of praise.
We’ve also uncovered several notable themes at this year’s MWC:
Across multiple categories and sectors, the term “open source” was bandied about, particularly in relation to:
- Alliances increasing adoption rates: The Allseen Alliance (backed by Qualcomm and partners) and the Open Interconnect Consortium (backed by Intel and partners) will simplify the market and allow IoT providers to build robust product suites that consumers can confidently invest in.
- Platform validation: Ford’s Smart Device Link is an open platform for developing new in-car experiences for the infotainment system. They’re hoping third-party app developers can create “sticky” experiences, especially in markets like China where new car sales are exploding.
- Creating needed competition: Cyanogen, the company behind the Android-based open source mobile OS, has recently partnered with Qualcomm, increasing compatibility to over 200 devices. Cyanogen may even try and launch their own app store.
Another theme we noticed today at Mobile World Congress was the rise of new interfaces. Whether they manifest as sensors, wearables or devices, these new peripherals have the potential to change how we interact with the world around us:
- ProGlove: This enterprise-focused wearable is a sensor-based “smart glove” that helps manufacturers boost performance by leveraging Intel’s sense technology to help employees visualize difficult task.
- Yubi Navi: A Nintendo Wii-like device that guides people to their destination with subtle tactile cues.
- SOSO Brainno: This prototype EEG wearable analyzes a user’s emotions, heart rate, and temperature. The goal is for it to be embedded into VR headsets so it can adapt to a user’s environment and their emotional state in real-time.
Today’s coverage was just the beginning; check back tomorrow for more updates from MWC.
Header image courtesy of MWC.