Life & Technology - 2GB 13th September, 2014

When Apple speaks, the world stops. At least that's we found out this week with the announcement of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

 

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus easily impressed, finally receiving additions such as bigger screens and NFC. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen. Read more these new models here on CyberShack.

 

Almost a little too coincidentally, most Australian telcos introduced a couple of new offers at the beginning of the week. I sat down with Ben White, Optus' Vice President of Mobile Marketing to have a chat about what Optus is doing. Ben told me that Optus is offering customers up to $450 of credit if they switch to Optus from a different provider. All switching customers are provided with $200 credit, designed to go towards early exit fees and up to $250 credit if they trade in their existing handset. This of course depends on the phone's condition - better hope there's not too many scratches on your old iPhone! For more info on this offer click here, and for more information on iPhone 6 pricing, click here.

 

The Apple Watch is certainly an interesting take on a smartwatch. Rather than opting for a purely touch screen interface, Apple have are using a input they've called the digital crown, a small wheel that can be used to scroll through options without covering the display. They've also been a bit more fashion conscious than other smartwatch manufacturers, and plan to release over 30 different models!

 

So what does the watch world think? Is it going to change what we wear on our wrists forever? I had a chat to watch guru, Coleby Nicholson, the publisher of Jeweller Magazine, and he think it's a little too early to tell. Coleby did however say that it presents a great opportunity for the traditional watch industry, and that smartwatches could be a gateway product that transitions young people from an Apple Watch they wear during the week to a traditional watch they wear on weekends.

 

I also had the pleasure of speaking to Ewan Le Bouhris, the founder of Safe Mate. Safe Mate is a different kind of wearable, designed for swimmers and surfers to upload emergency contact or medical information. In the event of the worst case scenario, this will enable to paramedics to simply scan the device the and instantly have access to all the information they need to treat the person effectively. I think it’s a great innovation, so it's fantastic to hear that Safe Mate have just launched a local pilot program with the Manly Life Saving Club to help test this new technology!

 

Aside from the Apple Watch, that smartwatch market has been heating up quite a bit, and there was quite a few smartwatch announcements at IFA. These included the Asus ZenWatch, the Sony SmartWatch 3, the LG G Watch R and the Samsung Gear S. In addition, Motorola's round smartwatch, the Moto 360, went on sale in the US, and promptly sold out in just a few hours. Hopefully we'll see it here soon too!