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Apple Watch And iPhone: Swiss Army Knives For The Digital Age?

Feature Article | March 11, 2015 by Richard Howells

When I was in the boy scouts I owned a pen knife with about 20 different blades and hundreds of capabilities. From knife to screwdriver, and bottle opener to toothpick. It was truly a multipurpose device that fit into your pocket.

Today, I can have devices that fit in my pocket and (based on the recent announcement by Apple) on my wrist, that I can’t live without. I am amazed at the breadth of usage these smart devices have as more information and signals become available thanks to the Internet of Things.  In fact, many devices have (or will) become obsolete due to smart watches and phones. Here are a few examples:

  • When was the last time you listened to a CD or MP3 player?
  • As the picture quality has progressed, I never carry a camera any more.
  • When I go on vacation or attend a school concert, I no longer have the big bag for a video camera and assorted chargers and paraphernalia.
  • At home I don’t need a remote control for heaters, TV’s, door locks etc.
  • My cars are now more connected than ever (see “How Connected Cars Will Transform Industries”) and a key may soon become a thing of the past.
  • My GPS is now obsolete as standalone devices, with apps like WAZE which is a crowd sourcing transportation and navigation app. It enables drivers to share information in real-time about traffic congestion, police speed checks, accidents etc., saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.
  • My Sunday paper is no longer packed with discount and deal coupons for different retailers. All deals are now available on apps such as Coupon Sherpa that can send me coupons for my favorite stores and tell me about deals at retailors and restaurants near my current location based on my buying history and preferences.
  • Credit Cards are just an extra item in your wallet (if you even need a wallet) with the introduction of Apple Pay.
  • Tickets for airplane, movies and concerts can be reviewed, bought and stored on your wrist.
  • Rumors suggest you can even use them to make phone calls and tell time!

So the smart phone and watch are fast becoming the Swiss Army knife for the digital age, but I have yet to find an app to get a stone out of a horses hoof. And one thing is for sure, I don’t want to lose my smart device any time soon, or I won’t be able to do anything.

Follow me @howellsrichard

This story also appeared on SAP Business Trends, an open community dedicated to uncovering the business benefits of IT innovation.
Photo: Shutterstock

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