APPLES UNVEILS THE WATCH, CALLING IT THE COMPANY’S “NEXT CHAPTER”

BY TREVOR TAN, IN CUPERTINO, Straits Times

CUPERTINO – First, the iPhone. Then, the iPad. And now with the Apple Watch, Apple’s holy trinity of mobile and smart devices finally looks complete.

The tech giant unveiled the long-anticipated Apple Watch on Wednesday under the glare of both the technology and fashion media at the packed hall of Flint Center for the Performing Arts at Cupertino. This marks its foray into the fledgling wearable market.

The Apple Watch features an unique touchscreen display the recognises the difference between a tap and a “force press”. In addition, it has a “digital crown,” a dial that is sits on the right side of the device.

Users can use the dial to interact with the Apple Watch without having to touch the display and obscuring it. It also acts as the home button that returns the user to the home screen with a press.

The Apple Watch is not just a timepiece, it is also touted as a fitness tracker and smart watch. Users can receive app notifications and even draw sketches. It has a pedometer, accelerometer as well as heart rate sensors that will track vital health statistics. In addition, the Apple Watch also has built-in Near Field Communications technology that can be used for Apple Payment, the tech giant’s new e-payment system.

The Apple Watch will require a connection with an iPhone and supports up to iPhone 5. This means those interested in getting the wearable will not need to get the latest iPhone 6. The watch comes in three editions – Apple Watch (stainless steel case), Apple Watch Sport (aluminium case) and Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold case). Easily changeable straps are also available, ranging from silicone sport band to stainless steel link bracelet.

The Apple Watch will also be available in two sizes – 38mm and 42mm. The watch will start from US$349 (S$440) and will only be available early 2015.

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