As we get closer to the Apple Watch release, thoughts turn to uses for the latest gizmo. Most of those thoughts center around the consumer, but some of the best uses for the watch may be for the enterprise.
We reported this week on how BetterWorks will make an app for the Apple Watch to play an integral role in the company's team collaboration service. It views this important enough to poach a Sr. Director of Engineering from Apple.
Other companies are likely thinking about the Apple Watch, and what role it can play in operations. We've been thinking about that too, and the following ideas are a good fit for the Apple Watch in the enterprise---and possibly other flavors of smartwatches. What remains to be seen is whether these Apple Watch uses can become unique on your wrist---relative to what a smartphone can do.
1. Meet in the field -- Two reps in the field want to meet up, and an Apple Watch app finds the mid-point and suggests a venue. If accepted, both Apple Watches send destination to the phone and plots a route.
2. Canned email/text replies -- The most common replies to messaging are presented on the Apple Watch and sent as a response with one tap. These could be smart replies, eg "On my way, there in X minutes." where X is auto-calculated by Apple Maps based on current location.
3. Uber driver app -- The drivers for Uber are the very definition of mobile workers, and an app to help them is a perfect fit for the Apple Watch. Such an app could let them speak the destination into the watch, which calls up the best route. It would present each upcoming turn on the screen. The Uber driver app would allow payments via Apple Pay, and instantly report the fare to the company.
4. Important right now -- Working in conjunction with an iOS project tracking app, the Apple Watch companion app would focus strictly on what is the priority right now. It would present the current project milestone, the next task to completing it, along with deadline information. Team members and other resources contributing to this task are presented on the Apple Watch and one tap away from contact.
5. Potential scheduling conflicts for meeting goals -- This simple app could be of great value for professionals with a lot on their plate. In conjunction with the project tracking capabilities previously mentioned, this Apple Watch app would analyze milestones and look at the calendar to flag potential scheduling conflicts.
Conflicts could include work events, eg vacations, and personal events. This would provide an opportunity for workers and team managers to head off potential delays, and reassign tasks if appropriate.
6. Voice memos on steroids -- The Apple Watch is the ideal device for capturing ideas by voice on the fly. This would be very powerful if a memo app added the ability to convert speech to text and add it to the user's to-do list. This could be as simple as "Call Bob on Monday about ordering marketing materials" to more complicated entries such as "Tuesday at 8pm take John to that steak place we went last time he was in town."
Thousands of enterprise uses
These uses for the Apple Watch just scratch the surface of what can be done. The watch will be on the wrist waiting for tasks to help the user get things done. The Apple Watch apps described can be stand-alone, or work as an extension of iOS apps to add value to both apps.