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The world of aviation is changing rapidly. The rollercoaster ride of the past two years, with unexpected highs and lows, has profoundly impacted demands on Air...
On 24 April, Apple launched its latest innovation: the Apple Watch. After the iPod, iPhone and iPad, the company's new product may be set to revolutionise the wristwatch market. Could this new technology have a role in avionics, just as its predecessors inspired the Avionics 2020 cockpit? Onboard asked Sylvain Hourlier, Senior Expert in Human Factors at Thales, to review the new device and assess its potential in the aerospace industry.
|Sylvain Hourlier reviews the Apple Watch as a senior expert in human factors and proud owner of an Apple Watch for a month now, what’s your informed opinion?
It’s pitched as a watch. Exceptional watches bear prestigious names. They're beautifully crafted timepieces with complex mechanisms that will still be working long after humans have disappeared from the earth. Apple is pushing the envelope by calling this a watch — but I can’t imagine leaving home without it and wearing my old watch instead!
Technology: It's beautifully designed, dependable and well put together. You can wear it in the shower. I haven’t tried it in the pool yet, but I hear it can survive that too!
Apple does it again: Just like the iPhone, first you want one because it’s new. Then, when the novelty wears off, you realise you can’t live without it. I'm sure there will be successive versions — the Apple Watch 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6, etc. — but we’ll have to wait and see.
Usability: They’ll have to rethink how it’s positioned on the wrist to make it easier to read without twisting your forearm around, which is not ideal, ergonomically speaking. It’ll be interesting to see what they do about that. In direct sunlight, it’s not that easy to read either. And if you wear it at night, it lights up as soon as you make the slightest movement, so you get a kind of nightclub effect in your bedroom! If you’re long-sighted, it’s no better than a normal watch, because without your reading glasses you can’t see a thing!
Health monitoring: There are lots of apps for exchanging health data, but this feature hasn’t been fully developed yet. There’s still some work to be done.
Life without the Apple Watch: Impossible, it’s part of my life. As a technology geek, I couldn’t do without it!