An anecdote about the appeal of Apple Watch for regular people

I’ve seen a lot of comments along the lines of “there’s no killer app for Apple Watch yet,” often followed by “it won’t get very far until it gets one.” I wonder if these are coming from a place of tech apathy.

I recently swung by a hospital for an exercise stress test (and was able to pit my Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor against complicated monitoring equipment), and the woman checking me in noticed I had a Watch.

“Ooh, what can you do with it.” I showed her my current watch face and four complications—date, next appointment time, temperature, and activity. I mentioned those are all customizable. That alone got her really excited.

“Does it have Siri?” I said yep, with the caveat you still need your phone somewhere on or near you for a lot of stuff like that. She didn’t seem to mind. “Ask her something!” So I asked Siri to “find Northwestern Hospital,” and it displayed a tiny map swatch, along with the phone number “wait, you can make a call ON YOUR WATCH??” and options for walking and driving directions.

Her head damn nearly exploded. She asked about prices and thought the Sport model sounded well worth it. “Oh yeah, I need one of these. That is just too nice. Thank you for letting me ask you all these questions!”

We tech folks are steeped in this stuff day in and out. We hear the rumors two years before anything happens, and we’re exposed to so much hype and hyperbole and analysis and debunking and podcast postulation and lists of why the debunking is totally wrong that nothing ever lives up to anything.

This is why I occasionally spend time eavesdropping in Apple Stores and at Genius Bars, and why I take the occasional, random opportunities in coffee shops and hospitals to (try to) help, listen, or answer questions. It reminds me of what actually gets regular people excited about and interested in tech. It cures my tech apathy.