Adventures in Alpha Land

Episode 15: Ben Bajarin on the New Apple Watch Paradigm

Ben Bajarin's last interview with Dan Bricklin was a brilliant exploration of how enterprises will use tablets. This new podcast applies the same critical thinking and insight to the new Apple Watch. Rather than simply rattling off features, Ben shares his deep insights into the tremendous paradigm shift the watch brings to software applications.
Show Notes

00:00 Dan: Intro to episode 15.

00:33 Dan: You've been wearing the Apple Watch for over two weeks, while the rest of us have been waiting to get one.

01:03 Dan: Back in the early Eighties I tried explaining to people what was special about a personal computer. It had very high bandwidth to the screen, which made VisiCalc possible.

02:21 Dan: Whenever you have a new device, what makes that special?

03:18 Dan: What do tablets give you?

04:05 Dan: With a tablet you can take pictures, unlike paper on a clipboard, and you can draw on those pictures.

05:22 Dan: At Alpha Software we've been aiming at the tablet.

05:55 Dan: What's special about the Apple Watch? It's not just being able to tell the time.

07:20 Ben: This platform is designed for interactions that are measured in seconds. PCs, the phone, and the tablet are designed for interactions that last much longer.

08:50 Dan: How does the watch compare to pulling out your phone?

09:17 Ben: The point is that it's glanceable.

09:46 Ben: In a business context the watch makes a lot of sense for those people who are extremely mobile. They aren't sitting there looking at a screen.

10:27 Ben: It frees up their hands to do other things. The software has to deliver information quickly.

11:03 Dan: The use cases will be where a glance is helpful, and not moving your hands.

11:52 Dan: What about the taptic? There are different taps it does on your wrist to connote information.

12:07 Ben: Taptics give specific vibration patterns to different types of notifications.

15:22 Ben: A good example is meeting etiquette. You don't have to look at your wrist while talking to someone, because you can feel the type of notification.

15:42 Dan: This opens up a new form of communication with a worker whose eyes are occupied. Anything else?

16:17 Ben: For a developer it is an additional interaction model. A mistake would be to duplicate the experience on an iPhone.

17:40 Dan: The key is doing the filtering of notifications right.

18:08 Ben: Exactly. If I could check system status with a single glance, that would be a useful feature.

18:42 Dan: Glance is so important, because people just want to know one piece of their data now.

19:12 Dan: Knowing your heartbeat, notification might slow down or speed up.

19:53 Ben: Those bits are unexplored territory.

20:13 Ben: Think about glances as an interaction paradigm.

20:44 Ben: Notifications have to be curated. Then every time you're notified, it's meaningful.

22:01 Dan: A corporation can control the notifications you receive.

22:22 Dan: I was communicating with someone who said in construction you'd never wear a watch, because you can catch it on something. There may have to be special watch bands or gloves for this.

23:12 Dan: The fact that it has a motion detector means that it knows where your hand is. It also has a microphone to know about ambient sound.

24:00 Ben: I think we are seeing the early stages of true assistant based platforms.

24:22 Ben: A deeper level is when the device starts to anticipate things, like calling Uber when I'm running late.

25:12 Dan: Let's switch to talking about actual specific applications and their importance to the success of a platform. Let's look at the original Palm Pilot in the late 1990's, the first mass-market handheld general purpose computer.

25:59 Dan: Plays 2-minute excerpt from his 2005 interview of Palm CEO Donna Dubinsky where she explains how the success of the Palm stemmed in part from the fact that people bought the Palm instead of some cheaper limited device (that could only do a few popular applications) because the buyer had at least one other niche application that made the increment in cost worth it. It only took one such "must have" application.

28:20 Dan: For business use what apps will sell watches?

28:54 Ben: I don't think it is one thing that drives this, I think it's the many.

29:15 Dan: It's one thing for each person, but it only takes one to push you over.

29:34 Ben: I think the driver for Palm was the Personal Information Manager.

30:04 Ben: when you layer fashion, notifications, and health, together you get a value proposition.

30:36 Dan: What will get companies to buy them for their employees?

31:06 Ben: Field workers who are super mobile may drive use cases.

31:29 Ben: The other one is security. Using the watch for mobile identity to get into high security areas.

32:20 Ben: When you look at Android smart watches, scheduling meetings has been an important use.

33:26 Dan: Summing up, the watch gives us glances, notifications, and data display and control.

34:36 Ben: The first apps are like the first waffle off the grill. It will take time, experience and reimagining apps. It's a huge paradigm shift.

35:45 Dan: We have to learn how to create short interactions.

36:57 Dan: Every company will have to experiment, if it can be done inexpensively.

37:15 Ben: This is similar to the early days of the iPad. This device is different from anything we've seen before.

38:35 Dan: This is an area where rapid application development is important.

39:20 Dan: Thank you. Our listeners can follow you at


00:00 Dan: Welcome to Episode 15 of "Adventures in Alpha Land." I'm Dan Bricklin, CTO of Alpha Software. With me today is Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies. Hey, Ben. How are you doing?

00:13 Ben: I'm doing all right, Dan. How are you?

00:14 Dan: OK. Thanks for agreeing to do a second podcast with me. Last time we talked about tablets, and the use of tablet computers, especially in the enterprise for people who walk around, and stand up when they're working.

00:33 This time I'd like to talk a little bit about that, but also talk about the Apple Watch, of which at this point you've been wearing one for over two weeks which is unusual, because the rest of us after getting up at 3:00 in the morning, are waiting and hope we'll be one of the first on the 24th to get it.

00:56 What I wanted to start with, is start with some general stuff. Then we'll get into specifics. The first is, starting many years ago back in the 80s, I was trying to explain to people what was special about a personal computer?

01:11 This was in the days when many computers and mainframes reigned, and people laughed at personal '81 or '82, something like that. What I did is, I gave a talk where I said, "Look, here's what's special about a personal computer.

01:28 While it may not be able to handle too much data, compared to the mainframes and minis of the day that you're connecting like timesharing with 300 board, 30 characters a second to the keyboard." What was special about the personal computer is that it had very high bandwidth to the screen.

01:48 The speed to the screen was such that it could update the entire screen 60 times a second. Now, part of that was to play games, and part of that was to save money, because the same memory that the CPU used was the memory that was used for the screen.

02:03 But it made possible things like VisiCalc the spreadsheet which actually used very simple calculations, and very slow compared to the minis and mainframes. And very small amounts of data, but were very interactive, and that's what made it special.

02:20 What I learned from that is to look and see whenever you have some new hardware configuration, or new devices, what makes that special in terms of at least two orders of magnitude, 100 times better than what you had before, or on something else. Because that usually opens up possibilities that weren't there before.

02:42 An example of that is the laser printer went from a character -based typewriter type output of characters to 300 dots per inch, which was an amazing ability in terms of graphics, and speed at basically around the same cost, or not too much more than what we had before.

03:04 The mouse gave you incredible band width to the hand, compared to the arrow keys on a plain keyboard. We see that in all sorts of ways. The connectivity of the Internet opened up many things.

03:16 When we talked about tablets, I look about -- well, tablets versus paper when we're talking about clipboards, which is what you brought up -- which is, you can replace clipboards with tablets. What do tablets give you?

03:32 One thing is that with the tablet compared to paper, you've got about the same sized screen, so that's not going to help you. With the iPad Air 2 as you point out, the weight's about the same as a clipboard that you would be using, at least in industrial situations to do things like inspection.

03:56 But you could take photos. Photos are worth a thousand words. There's your two or more orders of magnitude improvement. You can actually take pictures right then and there, and document the things that you couldn't describe by typing, or scribbling.

04:13 Of course, what you expect with photos is you'd expect to be able to scribble on them. With the phone, you have very little space. But on a tablet it's been very well established with millions of users using it, that drawing on the screen, and drawing to mark-up photos is a very common and very powerful thing, especially if you can zoom in and write real big, and then zoom out.

04:37 That gives you the ability to do certain types of inspection, and other things better. It's immediate instead of having to go back to the office. In other words, what you're doing is that you can connect to the system -- the corporate system -- and immediately get feedback.

04:57 You can find out for data validation. Others can find out. If you need just in time information to respond to something, you can do it. The fact that you don't have to go back to the office is an amazing saving. It can be in terms of time, your two orders of magnitude.

05:18 That's an example of that. At Alpha Software, we've been aiming at the tablet. We've been saying, "OK, what are we going to do with the tablet?" What we did is, we beefed up our ability to be able to handle forms the way you'd want, to be able to make them very touch-centric, because you want them to feel at least as good as you are using paper, but it's a little more cumbersome with your fingers.

05:42 But photos -- marking up photos with digital ink and other types of annotation -- things of that sort is what we're putting in. That's got me thinking about this whole thing of what's special. And then the watch comes out.

05:58 The watch we're thinking about compared to the phone, because people have the phone, and that's the thing that they keep talking about. It can't just be from a business viewpoint to tell the time, because if it's important to tell the time, there's probably a clock hanging in the room that you're at.

06:21 Or if you don't want to even have to look at it, there's probably a horn that's going to go off, or bells or something, to tell you the passage of time. So, it's not about being a watch, but it's about other things.

06:33 I think one of them is the fact that taking something in and out of your pocket, and having to twist and whatever and leave go of something, the cumbersomeness of getting it versus just glancing at your wrist, maybe that's the factor of a hundred? I don't know. You're going to have to tell me.

06:51 The taptic, the ability to not even have to look -- to be able to get communication without having to use your eyes or your ears -- I think that opens up a whole area that wasn't there. You really pointed that out in the essays that you wrote on Techpinions. Could you think of some others? Is this a good way of looking at things?

07:20 Ben: It is. I think what we should step back on is, there's a framework change that I think is interesting about this product, that didn't exist before.

07:32 I think particularly this is applicable for developers, because if you read what I wrote with my experience with the Apple Watch, I pointed out that one of the things that really stands out is that this platform is designed for interactions that are measured in seconds, not minutes or hours.

07:50 The phone and the tablet, you might make the case that those are oriented for many minutes of use. Software has been developed with the assumption that you're going use it for a length of time.

08:00 Similarly with PC-based software, you're starting on a bigger screen, and the software is just designed in a way to assume you're going to sit down, and really use it for a length of time. The watch is very different than that.

08:14 I think that's one of the things that Apple is really emphasizing with both what they've done from a UI standpoint, but really what they're encouraging developers to do, which is to re- imagine your software experience with seconds of interaction. So, make those interactions more efficient.

08:31 One of the things that I've noticed is apps like Uber and City Mapper, are two examples of some of the first crop that I've been using that actually work really well on the watch, because the apps themselves on the phone are actually designed for short interactions. You're just looking for quick interaction. I want to request Uber.

08:50 Dan: How much shorter... I mean, as a user, how much different is it? Is it a little better to glance at your watch? Is it a lot better than pulling out your phone or your Tablet? How much different is it?

09:04 Because obviously as you say, you have to build your app around the fact that you're going to be doing small and short. But how much does that help the fact that it's short? How does it feel to you?

09:18 Ben: Again, it's different, right? The point is, it's glanceable. This goes back to the conversation that we had around tablets which is, most people who are using those devices, and the upside is for people who stand, who walk around, who weren't sitting and staring necessarily at a big screen.

09:36 Again, that's what makes this product particularly interesting, because while I absolutely think there's a ton of mass market use cases, in an enterprise context or a business vertical, it makes a lot of sense for those people who are extremely mobile, because again, you're not sitting and just staring at your screen.

09:56 Even if you think about factory workers, if you think about people who work in facilities, people who work in oil rigs, in construction, in all of these things, there's an interesting value proposition in that they're not standing there, sitting looking at a screen, or even at their phone or their tablet, because that requires two hands.

10:14 Now the question is, if somebody's in construction, or if somebody's in facilities, is it possible for them to get useful information onto a screen at a glance, without ever having to hold that screen in their two hands? In essence, it frees up their hands to do the other things that they're doing as a part of being a mobile worker.

10:32 I'd imagine guys that work for PG&E, when they're up working on wires, right? They're doing electrical, but what if...

10:42 Dan: And tower work, of course.

10:43 Ben: ...right, yeah. What if something important comes important comes in that they need to know, they can just click, glance on their watch and keep their hands free. But there's productivity use cases in there, but the point is that that software, the interaction around that has to change so that the person can get what they need quickly, and not have to go in and engage, and get deeper, and look up a menu.

11:03 Dan: We'll talk about apps in a minute. The thing you are saying, what I hear is that the cases, will be cases where a glance is helpful, and not moving your hands too much is helpful. Those are the cases where you need something real quick, and that you don't want have to fumble, and whatever, get your phone, or get a tablet.

11:31 If you have an existing app, you are talking about how to change things. I'm thinking about new types of applications, which we'll talk about that weren't there before. That's one, is this glance the short, and glancing, and people who are using their hands all the time.

11:53 What about the taptic? You pointed out a lot of things about how there are a variety of different type of taps that it does on your wrist, and you can tell the difference between them, and that connotes information?

12:07 Ben: Yes. Now I'm again not clear as to how...Meaning you might know this better than me. How flexible that particularly is for a developer.

12:17 Dan: I'm looking longer term. I'm assuming they are going to open it up to us.

12:22 Ben: Essentially what they've done, and so there's actually two things I think are very interesting. There's two new interaction patterns. The taptics one is the one that you hit on, which is basically the ability to give very distinct vibration patterns to specific notifications.

12:39 For example, when a text message or an email comes in, those are two similar taptic patterns. When I get that I know it's either an email, or a text message. Now ideally I'd actually like to know the difference between the two, but right now those two are lumped together. When a call comes in, it feels very different.

12:55 Dan: What's the feeling like? Can you describe it or you just learn it? This is like that TED Talk.

13:01 Ben: No, you learn...Correct.

13:02 Dan: That TED Talk recently that you just learn it.

13:04 Ben: Yes. What I would say is think of haptics as a design language. As a user interface paradigm, haptics becomes a paradigm for that, where you can have different notifications for different types of things. Correct, you learn it.

13:28 It does take you a little bit of time to feel it and learn it, and then after about a day you know it. The other one that I was...

13:36 Dan: Its right out of Skinner basically in a way that...

13:37 Ben: Exactly.

13:38 Dan: don't know what it is, but you associate it with what happens when you get a look at the watch?

13:42 Ben: Correct, or the others that you don't even have to necessarily look at the watch, because you actually know...

13:50 Dan: Once you've learned?

13:51 Ben: Correct. You actually know what it is. The other example I gave is maps. When you are using a map or getting a destination there's a different taptic pattern for you're turning left right now, and a different taptic pattern for you when you're turning right.

14:08 You learn the differences between those two. Phone calls feel differently. Again it's just the pattern. The pattern is not buzz. The pattern might be buzzbuzzbuzz buzzbuzzbuzz buzzbuzzbuzz, or it might be buzzbuzz buzzbuzz. You get those difference in the taptic patterns.

14:25 Dan: You run this? Even if you are busy doing something else with your mind elsewhere, it's enough?

14:32 Ben: Exactly. Then you've got the other differences in that. Somebody can message you. When you get one of the little drawing messages, you could be alerted that you've gotten a message is the taptic pattern is different. You know somebody is sending you a little sketch, or something.

14:51 There's all of those little patterns that go in that give you that notification. Part of that I think is important, because again if you are really busy, or your hands are tied up, or whatever. It does make sense to not necessarily have to turn your wrist over for every notification.

15:12 If you know, "Hey, I know what that is, I need to look at that right now, but my hands are tied up, and so I'll take a break," or, "I'm really busy, I just can't look at that right now." A good example is just I think meeting etiquette. If you and I are sitting here having lunch and we are talking.

15:29 If I just keep staring at my wrist every 10 seconds that would be annoying, and somewhat rude. The idea that I know in my brain what might constitute a higher priority notification to look at if need be. I will ignore the rest, and you and I can maintain eye contact.

15:42 Dan: This opens up a new forum of communicating with a worker whose eyes are being busy with something else, or needs to be discrete, or things like that. This is a day or night difference between this, and your phone, or your laptop, or whatever.

16:02 Anything else you saw? Any other things about it, or something that make it so much better than what we had before, or is it not?

16:17 Ben: I think again the difference is that what this represents, and particularly important to the conversation that we are having from a developer stand point is it is an additional interaction model. As an additional interaction model, the changes of that, and the behavioral changes that come along with it have to be taken into consideration.

16:39 That's why from a developer stand point a mistake would be for them to just say, "I'm going to duplicate the experience I make on the iPhone and move it to the watch." In fact and a good example of this is Twitter. The Twitter app is really not that useful in my opinion, because all it does is when you pull it up it gives you two options.

16:59 You can see your recent tweets or you can see trending tweets. If I'm going to look at that stuff, I'm going to pull out my phone. The idea that if I get a mention only from my followers, or if I get a direct message, or even if I could make an additional filter that says, "When these people tweet," or, "When this person tweets a chart, let me know."

17:20 Those are more useful functions of Twitter, which are just, "Hey, let me see that? That's cool. Now I know," verses just point out everything. Facebook is another good example. If you think about, what are you going to want on Facebook on your wrist? You might only want two people to post something, not everybody. That's the higher level of filter that has to come in.

17:39 Dan: Looking at the reviews and yours compared to some of the others. The key is that if you are able to do the filtering of notifications right, it's very valuable. If you don't, it's not. It's a problem. This is a caveat to developers, and this is a UI issue about how do you get the right notification, and not too many. That's key here. Is that?

18:08 Ben: Exactly. That's one of the things I pointed out is what makes this interesting from a notification standpoint, and I would argue that both what we are talking about in terms of the context of useful information at a glance. That's the glances.

18:22 Now if you recall, you could swipe up from the bottom, and you could have a number of glances. An app that might say, like you might want to say, "Somebody needs to check system status of something." System status app could become a glance where...

18:36 Dan: I got it.

18:37 Ben: ...I swipe up. I see my system status. I glance back down, so I think it's a useful feature.

18:41 Dan: I think glance from my playing with it a couple of hours at the store. Glance is so important, because people just want to know there's one piece of their own data, and they want it now. It remembers the last glance that you are looking at.

18:55 If you were constantly looking at the same one, you just flip up and it's done. It's a half second to know your answer if the information design is right. Is that...?

19:04 Ben: Absolutely.

19:06 Dan: Another area, though, is people talk about the heartbeat -- that maybe from a business viewpoint what we could do is knowing your heartbeat, the notifications to tell you what to do next might slow down or speed up depending on if you're working too hard maybe it should slow you down, the same way that it tells you you haven't stood up yet, you've been sitting too long.

19:39 This can be used to throttle some other things for employee happiness. Is that...? This is, again, we're not given access to this yet, but of course one of these days we will be, to the heartbeat.

19:53 Ben: You're right. Those bits, I think, are, again, unexplored territory in terms of how the sensors can play a role in this. That's just...let's just use heart rate as an assumption of other sensors that might show up and what they'll do. But like I said, what makes this interesting is, again, to think of the glances as an interaction pattern, or an interaction paradigm for information that I'm going to pull.

20:24 That means I'm interested, I need to get it at a glance. Think about similarly, you want to know what time it is, you flip your wrist over, you look at what time. If I carry that out into other processes of my mobile workforce or whatever, what might I want to get information at a glance?

20:41 The other one I'm talking about is the notification bit, meaning, I don't know but I want to get that information as it's pushed to me.

20:48 Dan: Somebody else decides.

20:50 Ben: Exactly. And that's what we were talking about and that literally needs to be curated. It literally can't be everything. In both the consumer and in enterprise contexts, what's going to have to happen...and this is again, Apple is allowing you to choose which apps you want to have come over in terms of notifications. But another, deeper level of that is necessary as this evolves.

21:11 But as enterprises are developing that app, they can absolutely put those filters in and say, "Hey, this is the system status, this might be an emergency alert, this might be whatever," and you're choosing to say "Those are pushed to me." So what you're getting, which is really what I highlighted, once you do that, once you spend the time to really prioritize what you get notified of, then every single time you're notified, it's meaningful.

21:37 That paradigm completely changes, because if you think about it, the desktop OS paradigm, and the mobile OS paradigm, they just treat all notifications as equal. You just get them all -- all delivered in the exact same way.

21:48 The difference, now, is that you can now have a much deeper level of meaningfulness, in terms of those notification interactions which are actually valuable to you. That, again, has consumer implications and enterprise ones.

22:01 Dan: From a corporate viewpoint, the fact that they might be able to say, "You have to wear this watch," and they control it, they can make sure we don't send you the notifications you don't need. You're not supposed to get the Facebook ones at work.

22:17 There's an issue that came up when I was communicating with somebody at work who's been involved in construction, who said that you never wear a watch in construction, and other hard things, because you could catch it on things.

22:31 I realized that, "Hmm, I can see how just like you carry your iPhone or your iPad in special holders, especially in business, there'll probably be special cases or watch bands or maybe work gloves with a built-in place to put your watch that the watch is put into so that it's appropriate for those situations.

22:55 What you're saying about notifications, if it's a corporately provided watch running for your work, that might be -- you have two arms, so you can put your other one on your other arm -- that might be an interesting thing. For another area, I was thinking of the fact that it has a motion detector, and it knows that it's your wrist means it knows where your hand is.

23:19 There are a whole lot of things where apps that take advantage of knowing where you're moving, or how much you're moving, it could tell you if you're steady enough, it's the whole thing of being able. Know when to do something by how steady you are or what your orientation is. The feedback from that. The ability to change.

23:42 And the fact that it has a microphone to know about ambient sound, even though your phone's in your pocket, I was amazed at how good Siri did even though my flannel shirt was up against the side of a watch, Siri still did a good job.

23:58 Ben: I think, to be honest with you, when we think about where all of this goes, I think we're seeing the very early stages of these true assistant-based platforms. While Siri plays a role in that, there's another, I think, deeper level of this is where it goes, which is when the device itself, again, whether it gets what it gets because it knows it's on me, or again, even our phone itself, can start to actually anticipate things on my behalf by being that smart.

24:35 An example is, if I'm running late to a meeting and I need to get somewhere across town, that it knows that and so my watch just requests an Uber for me and says, "Hey, I see you're running late. You're going to need this. You're not going to be able to park. Uber's out front. It'll be there in two minutes."

24:51 Or if I'm running late to a dinner meeting, it says, "Hey, I see you're going to run late to a meeting because you're still at the office and you're supposed to be at dinner in 15 minutes. I've updated the reservation on your behalf, and I've alerted all the parties that you're going to be 15 minutes late." These are the kind of really smarts that go...and again, we could come up with all sorts of enterprise examples as well.

25:10 Dan: I'm thinking of enterprise, because those are personal, but for use at work. I'm really interested in specific to enterprise. This is about a platform. The first very popular platform of a mobile device I think was the Palm Pilot.

25:31 Ten years ago, in 2005, I got to interview Donna Dubinsky, who I guess you know. She was the head of Palm and then Handspring that did the Trio, which is the smartphone that the guys at Apple looked at to figure out what to do better.

25:47 She had some very interesting things to say. I'd like to play an excerpt from that. It's just a couple minutes long. OK?

25:55 Ben: Yep.

25:59 Dan: The original Palm Pilot. You got to launch something that became a new platform. Was the Palm designed to be open? Did you court third-party developers?

26:08 Donna Dubinsky: Absolutely. Yeah. When we first did the Palm one of I think the really big ideas about it was going to have handheld computing be a platform environment, much as the PC was. I think that when we did the Palm OS, one of our first products was the developer kit.

26:27 It was very high-priority for us, and to me the robust developer community was in fact one of the most fantastic things that happened with the Palm. People came up with applications that we never would have dreamed of. It was really compelling.

26:43 Dan: What types of applications did they come up with?

26:46 Donna: Anything from serious business applications to games, to things like tracking wild animals with bushmen in Africa. It just was surprising how many different things people could think of that were not on our list.

27:02 Dan: Did that help it?

27:04 Donna: Absolutely. There's no doubt that people would buy Palm Pilots to run specific applications. They didn't use it the same way they did on the PC. On the desktop people had three to five core applications that everybody had.

27:20 Dan: In the Palm world we built those in. You didn't buy those afterwards. They were an integrated part of the product -- the personal information manager, the contact list, the calendar; those were the core applications.

27:31 Donna: What we found was, rather than adding three to five applications on a device, customers would find one that was compelling for them and that, to them, was a make-it-or-break-it thing. It might have been the stars and what the stars are.

27:46 It might have been world traveller applications, or it might have been querying a detailed database at work. But there was always some additional compelling application for the Palm owner.

27:57 Dan: So it's a different type of long tail? Where people...

28:00 Donna: Yes, right, although we certainly didn't know of long tails at the time.

28:05 Dan: The Palm Pilot, when it came out, was 300 bucks in the mid to late '90s, which is the same price as an Apple watch today. And they sold tens of millions of them.

28:18 Ben: Yeah.

28:19 Dan: So all it takes is one app to make it worthwhile. For business use, what would be those apps? I know that some people talk about checklists -- the fact that you just tap it to say "I've done this one," and then you go off and do something.

28:38 You tap it, you've done the next one. Those type of...where the interaction is very short. It'd be ridiculous to have to take your phone out just to do it. That's an obvious one. Have you heard of others?

28:51 Ben: Again, I think the interesting thing about this platform is that it's in its diversity in its value propositions that I think makes this compelling. I don't think it's one thing that actually drives this. I think it's the many. Again, we can tease this out.

29:15 Dan: My point with Donna's stuff was it's one thing for each person -- one or more -- but it only takes one to push you over. But it's a long tail, because there's so many different ones. Each company will have its own ones.

29:33 Ben: That's why I think we're in a different era from the Palm time, in that the driver for Palm was PIM, the personal information manager. That was the driving use case, that once you got into the field of discovery of apps, it was the long tail where you got it and could manage calendar and things like that.

29:52 Dan: You could buy PIMs cheaper that only were PIMs. It was the fact that you could add your own, which is what happened with the iPhone too, the fact that there's an app for that.

30:03 Ben: Right. That's what I'm saying. The very basic value proposition might be one of the three pillars that Apple has put together. The fashion bit might be a driver all by itself. The notifications bit might be a driver all by itself. The health bit might be a driver all by itself.

30:23 But then you layer all of those things together and it makes for an even more comprehensive value proposition. It's one of those few that's going to get somebody in the door, and it's all the other things that make it sticky and delight and things like that.

30:37 Dan: What's going to get the companies to buy them to give to their employees? To make them on time for meetings? I can see perhaps people -- inspectors and all -- being able to use it as checklists. Executives clearly are going to want to have status, be able to do at a glance and see the corporate MIS. That's the management information.

31:06 Ben: I think, again, you've got some other interesting dynamics around this. For example, people who work with gloves who don't necessarily even need to touch the screen, but might need to be notified of information. Your field force, your sales force workers who are super-mobile, that's where I think they might dream up the use cases for it.

31:29 But the other one's security. I do think that this evolves into an evolving narrative around mobile identity and mobile security.

31:36 Dan: This is the use of the C-chip?

31:38 Ben: Yeah, exactly. You can use it as authentication to get into high-security areas. You don't have to necessarily pull your phone out to do that. Or you can use it for an additional layer, a dual form of authentication. There's security and management things on it.

31:53 Dan: It could give you the security key. It knows when you took it off and you take it off; it then stops working until you authenticate again. So it can give you a security key or passwords, that you can't get out of it otherwise. For example, you don't have to take your card out to get into a building. OK, go on.

32:10 Ben: Yeah, that's where I think that's at least another part of it, right? That's what I think businesses will see. The interesting thing is that when you look at some of the existing smartwatches in the market today, particularly the Android ones, what a lot of executives that have been working on those products found when they used them for the first time was that the idea of, "Hey, where's my next meeting?"

32:35 Did the meeting room change? Getting an alert notification when the meeting room's changed is common in meeting places. Those they felt were all very valuable things to come to the wrist, and get in a glance. That was just a simple example. I think you can tie up many of those.

32:48 But the point I'm making is that I think when people experience it, they're going to realize that the wrist is a very natural place to get some of that information. Now, everyone's goal or job is to re-imagine interactions, re-imagine software, all with this new paradigm.

33:05 I think that's really where the fun of watching the next couple of years evolve is going to be, because people are going to start to figure out how new of an interaction model this is.

33:14 Enterprises and consumers and commercial, they're all going to dream up these interesting use cases in software with this new paradigm in place, because it really is a natural place to just be able to get useful information at a glance.

33:26 Dan: It seems like, knowing what Apple has given us today, things like glances, notifications. Notifications, some just work already because if you're already sending notifications to the phone, it doesn't take much if anything, to be able to now go to the watch.

33:44 Data display of various sorts, control of tapping and choosing and sending that to a server or who knows when, that we can do today, with today's watch kit. When it comes to taking the taptic, haptic stuff that you want to be able to further with it, and customize it, they haven't given us that yet.

34:11 Nor some of the use of the accelerometer et cetera. So, those applications we have to sort of imagine, and prototype through other means. But today, as soon as we could start building with today's stuff from Apple, we can handle a good portion of what you're talking about. Is that...?

34:34 Ben: Yes. Yeah.

34:36 Dan: And it should be.

34:37 Ben: Yeah, exactly. That's where I think this is kind of a...I don't know if you're heard this before, this is somewhat of a gaming industry analogy, but I've heard the first apps that come out on something new are like the first waffle off the grill problem. They're not always the best, but they get better with subsequent generations.

35:01 That's just the evolution process this is going to have to go through, for developers to get their hands on it and spend time with it, live with it, really make this connection that wow, this is a platform dedicated for seconds of interaction.

35:13 I need to re-envision my app or my experience, or think of a brand new one, that focuses on this idea of very quick, glanceable information, very quick, efficient usage of information in very short interaction times. That's again, that's a user interface paradigm that has not existed before.

35:29 The only one that's existed before is a clock which you just look at and you say, "OK, I know what time it is." That you've got to now apply that to software is a huge paradigm shift, and that's where I think it's going to evolve, it's going to get better. But that's the right framework to think about it.

35:46 Dan: We have to start practicing with this. It's like when we learned with Twitter how to write in 140 characters, we have to learn how to get lists that you can get with the crown, with scrolling on the crown wheel. The short interactions, things that don't feel like scroll, scroll, this is ridiculous. I needed it in a glance.

36:06 How do I make small enough data displays that I can get it in a second, and not have to stare at it and put on my reading glasses? So, playing with it now is important. The ability to get in there and learn because as you say, the first waffles off the grill aren't as good as the ones you're going to get later. It may not be over the bar in terms of usefulness until you get a little further.

36:34 That's been really interesting to me. I've been playing a lot with watch kit, and I'm working on prototyping tools for others which we'll talk about in the future. Because I think that people should be experimenting. I need to experiment, so I'm building things for me. But I want other people to be able to experiment too.

36:53 Every company I think, that has people...I mean, it sounds like this is useful to all sorts of types of people. So, experimentation should go on, if it can be done inexpensively enough. You don't want to spend $100,000 on an app just to help a few of the people in your warehouse.

37:14 Ben: No. I think this is similar and hopefully though, more evolved than if you recall in the early days of the iPad, it was continually being adopted by IT for testing purposes. They said, "Look, there's something here. We need to figure it out." They were tasked with getting them, using them, trying them, and experimenting.

37:33 That's again where I think we're going to see a very similar process. The difference in being that this device is so fundamentally different than really anything we've ever seen before.

37:42 But they've got to get it in-house, try it and live with it, and try to imagine what software, what use cases, what productivity and efficiency value this product can bring to their enterprise, so that it is another tool in their employee's belt to actually get their job done.

38:00 Dan: Like with the tablet, you need rapid application development systems, which seems to be popular for the things like the forms type of stuff. That's the way to do it, you don't spend $100,000 with a digital agency building an app for an inspector usually, unless you have an awful lot of them.

38:19 You want to be able to have your systems just like why a spreadsheet was better than having people program in COBOL to do some business app. You could throw it together in a spreadsheet in a few minutes.

38:33 This is an area at least now, where rapid application development might be important, which is a challenge for those of us who come up with this. I mean, I've been really challenged with figuring out how to be able to build and prototype. I'm pretty facile with IOS, and Objective-C et cetera, but that's not the case of most people.

38:53 Well, I think you've got to go soon. I guess we'd better end this. I just wanted to thank you. Anything else you wanted to point out, or say?

39:00 Ben: No, I think we covered it. Like I said, hopefully this was a helpful framework again, on how to think about this particular product. I think again, all the real work's going to happen over the next 8 to 12 months, as developers get their hands on it and really start dreaming up new use cases based on these very micro interaction models.

39:19 Dan: OK, well thanks. If people want to follow which they really should, especially if they're interested in the watch, they should be following you. You're at, and you have a podcast that you do with others on like a weekly basis.

39:36 It's worthwhile reading it. The observations you made, some of which you made on this recording, but that I did not see the same things as much elsewhere in those many reviews that people are coming out. It's worth looking. So, thanks a lot.

39:52 Ben: Thank you.