Will Apple Watch change the face of local search?
There is always an abundance of anticipation and expectation surrounding Apple launch events, but its most recent unveiling was a little bit different. In what was the Cupertino-based company’s first new product release since the iPad in 2010, Apple introduced a wearable piece of tech that has got a lot of people talking, especially the world of marketing.
Mobile developers might be more concerned with the bigger and better iPhones that also received their international debut, but several digital marketers are giving more attention to the Apple Watch, as it could change the face of local search and geo-targeting dramatically.
Local search potential
It is no surprise that the Apple Watch features a range of apps to enhance the user’s daily routine. Making calls and sending messages is easier and more interactive than ever before while calendars, alarms and reminders are never too far away either. On top of that, digital payment systems and fitness trackers only add to the device’s multitasking ability.
But the Apple Watch’s enormous potential also extends to local search and geo-targeting, as users are bound to be looking for products, services and businesses on the go, all the time. Favourites and recently searched places will be saved for easy access while Siri (fulfilled by Bing) is also on hand to fulfil local queries.
This means that companies will have to think more closely about things like digital coupons, which can be redeemed when a user is physically nearby. However, another additional feature could have a much bigger impact on businesses that rely on local customers and everyday footfall.
Turn-by-turn navigation and haptic feedback
One of the most interesting and intriguing aspects of the Apple Watch is that it will provide haptic feedback while giving turn-by-turn directions to a particular location or destination. Essentially, the watch will buzz and provide different sensations when you need to turn either right or left. As a result, there is no need to constantly look at the screen to find out where you are or where you are going.
“Combined with subtle audio cues from the specially engineered speaker driver, the Taptic Engine creates a discreet, sophisticated, and nuanced experience by engaging more of your senses.” the Apple Watch website says.
Therefore, if a user wants a cup of coffee in a cafe nearby and your company’s information isn’t on Google Maps or Apple’s alternative, you might lose out on precious business.
Consumer reaction and uptake
Straight after Apple’s announcement, 1000 US consumers answered a flash survey about the watch, but only 33 per cent said they were interested in making a purchase. Therefore it remains to be seen whether Apple’s entrance into the wearable tech sector will be successful.
Even so, the tablet market wasn’t exactly booming when the iPad came along, and that particular release went on to revolutionise the industry as well as contribute to the downfall of traditional desktop PCs. Therefore, it is probably in every marketer’s best interests to take the Apple Watch seriously.