Photo courtesy of Apple
There’s been a lot of buzz around the Apple Watch. While much of that is excitement, there’s also plenty of criticism. No matter your opinion, it’s impossible to deny Apple’s pull on the consumer market. While the device doesn’t support video playback just yet, Apple has a history of making large improvements to second-generation models.
We think the Watch could have a major impact on online video in the future. Here’s why:
1. The Watch could be a distribution platform for online video content. Instagram – an important channel for many brands – is one of the apps available on the Watch and its quick-to-browse photo feed is perfectly compatible with the Watch’s design for “brief interactions.” The Watch already includes a built-in speaker and microphone, so we’re willing to bet that video playback (on multiple apps) is in our future.
2. It’s easy to integrate into everyday life. That idea of quick interaction would make the Watch a great viewing platform for short videos on the go. One of the largest markets Apple is pushing the Watch into is the medical and fitness industry. Imagine being able to produce and browse health-related videos for time-crunched consumers. Take a look at the health apps Apple is marketing for the Watch and you’ll see how short videos could fit into daily workouts, doctor visits, etc. From a user’s perspective, isn’t it easier to view a quick video on your wrist rather than holding your phone or removing an arm strap during a workout?
3. Apple’s already got their iSight on online video. iSight is what Apple calls the rear-facing camera on your iPhone. According to Apple, the Watch can act as a viewfinder for your iSight camera feature, meaning you can set up a shot on your subject, walk away from your phone (to a certain distance) and check any shots that you’re taking on your phone through the Watch on your wrist. Besides produced online videos, this could also be huge for live events and breaking news. Consider this – you could, theoretically, set up your phone to broadcast an event via Meerkat or Periscope and scan the feed from your Watch. CNN, NPR, ESPN and The New York Times already have apps for the Watch.
There will undoubtedly be changes to the Apple Watch after the first wave of consumer feedback. But the big-picture takeaway is that all of us, as online video publishers, should be thinking about how the device will affect the production and delivery of our online videos. Just when you thought the screen couldn’t get any smaller – it did!
What do you think about the Apple Watch? Are you buying one? Would you watch video on this type of a device? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Follow us on Twitter for more online video news.