Among its list of announcements today, Apple unveiled its entry into the wearable tech game—the Apple Watch. A premium device, this smartwatch is the first iOS-enabled wearable on the market. Several finishes are available, along with a host of band options that range from bright plasticine to classic metal.
Much like Apple's smartphones, build quality and design seem to be the first concerns here. The Apple Watch sports durable sapphire glass coating on the outside of the face, as well as a metal housing for the guts of the device.
There will be two sizes available—large and small—with three finishes: The Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. The latter is clad in 18-karat gold, while the others are made from less precious metals.
Like most smartwatches, the Apple Watch acts as a satellite to your smartphone, allowing things like push notifications and basic functions to be transmitted from phone to wrist. You can also use the watch's sensors to record fitness data like heart rate and send it to your phone. The touch interface logic has been expanded to distinguish between a tap and a hard press, as the watch can detect small amounts of force applied to the screen.
Additionally, the "digital crown" on the side of the watch—what looks to be the crown of a normal timepiece—stands in as a home button and control wheel. To recharge, the Apple Watch uses a magnetic induction charger, built-in around the bottom-mounted sensors.
Features and apps are already aplenty for the Apple Watch, allowing it to control Apple TV units, smartphones, and even stand in as a walkie-talkie. Apple also teased integration with other apps and devices, including the Watch's ability to be used with the new Apple Pay mobile payments system. Details about specific hardware specifications are scant, but we expect to hear more as the year goes on.
If this sounds like the smartwatch for you, it will be available early next year, starting at $349. Just keep in mind it will only work with Apple devices, so Android and Windows Phone users are out of luck.