A couple Sundays ago, I accompanied my lovely wife and daughter to the mall in Omaha. Ugh. There's nothing for a man there, and only a couple options that won't cause downright pain. I debated, then zigged left to the Apple Store, rather than zagging right to Scheel's. I found myself ogling Apple Watches instead of bicycle accessories and fly rods.
I suppose I was ripe for the picking. I've always been a watch-wearer, and the Apple Watch proved to be less bulky in person than it looked in photos. The friendly associate said, "You should try it on." I swallowed hook, line, and sinker. A few minutes later I stumbled out the door, dazed, carrying a little white bag. They just make it too doggone easy.
After a couple of weeks, I actually like my impulse purchase. It's great to get notifications on my Apple Watch of incoming text messages and emails. I don't have to dig for my iPhone. I can discretely glance at my watch during meetings without disrupting things. At home, my iPhone can stay on counter or plugged into the charger, but I can still get check my emails and messages while puttering in the garage or out on the deck, or just kicked-back across the room.
I've only answered one phone call on my Apple Watch. It worked fine on both ends of the call, although I was alone in a quiet room at the time. I was hoping no one would walk by and see me channelling Dick Tracy. (How badly does this reference date me?)
The Apple Watch experience has me thinking about more sophisticated public safety applications for wearable technology. At one time, I thought Google Glass might be a breakthrough in this regard. Now, I think the smartwatch has good potential for doing things like delivering the patient's vital signs to the paramedic's wrist; or the tornado warning, the wanted bulletin, and the critical incident alert. I can see the potential of location-based information like that served up from P3i, delivered to the user on a wearable device.
It's not just a pipe dream. I already have an application that sends notifications to me about certain types of major incidents. I get the alerts to my iPhone and now on my Apple Watch, too. It tickles my wrist to let me know of an emergency response like this one on Wednesday, and it usually does so several seconds before the 911 center has even been able to say the words on the radio necessary to dispatch the responders to the incident. You'll be hearing more about this on my blog and in the local news in coming weeks.