In his latest post John Gruber talks about the Apple Watch.
Now I’m all for gadgetry, and I am pre-ordering my watch, but what excites me most about this is the new communication features, and John hits the nail on the head with his description:
You’re 16. You’re in school. You’re sitting in class. You have a crush on another student — you’ve fallen hard. You can’t stop thinking about them. You suspect the feelings are mutual — but you don’t know. You’re afraid to just come right out and ask, verbally — afraid of the crushing weight of rejection. But you both wear an Apple Watch. So you take a flyer and send a few taps. And you wait. Nothing in response. Dammit. Why are you so stupid? Whoa — a few taps are sent in return, along with a hand-drawn smiley face. You send more taps. You receive more taps back. This is it. You send your heartbeat. It is racing, thumping. Your crush sends their heartbeat back.
You’re flirting. Not through words. Not through speech. Physically flirting, by touch. And you’re not even in the same classroom. Maybe you don’t even go to the same school.
I’m not saying digital touch is only for teenagers. I’m not saying it’s only for flirting. But the scenario above exemplifies the ways that digital touch opens the door to forms of remote communication that most of us haven’t ever considered. Non-verbal, non-visual, physical communication across any distance. This could be something big.
I am excited about being able to communicate in new ways with the people I care most about. After all, isn’t that the promise of the internet?