So, will this Apple Watch thingy be a game-changer like the iPod or a bomb like the Kindle Fire?
It's hard to predict on the basis of a tightly-choreographed rollout that's more akin to a papal coronation slash U2 concert slash tech reporter conference than a gizmo announcement. But here's what we do know.
The functions are pretty nifty. Since it syncs up to an iPhone, it can function as a communications tool. You can tweet from it, by speaking into it like Dick Tracy. You can share your heartbeat. (Does anyone need a watch that does that? No, but still kinda cool.) You can make it buzz. If you have a BMW, you can remind yourself where you parked. No word on whether you can play Tamogatchi on it, but Lord knows someone at Apple has pitched that idea at some point in the last year. It also acts as a fitness monitor, which depending on how quantified you want your self to be could be useful.
Also big news: It isn't called an iWatch. It's the end of an era. You'll tell your grandchildren where you were when Apple dropped the i from one of its products.
The cost of the watch starts at $349. That's far more than a Fitbit, which goes for around a $100, or a Jawbone, which is a little less than that. It's nominally close to $399 that the original iPod retailed for when it was released in 2002—although that would have been $528 in today's dollars. That's all to say that it's priced pretty well for a mass market, especially when you figure that the number will come down over time—or if you compare it to what it costs to wear a face computer.