Tech Transformers

How to turn your Apple Watch into an office

Building apps for Apple Watch
Building apps for Apple Watch

The Apple Watch hasn't even been released yet—but one company is betting it's going to be a big hit with business users, and has made an app to turn the smartwatch into an office.

German firm EBF has upgraded its Connector app to enable managers to carry out functions such as approving holidays or updating calendar information straight from their wrist.

Apple announced earlier this month that its wearable device would be available from April 24, with Bernstein projecting that 7.5 million units of the smartwatch will be sold in the second half of 2015 and 20 million sold in 2016.

EBF Connector app on the Apple Watch

As such, EBF is gambling that business users will adopt the Apple Watch for work. Its app integrates with enterprise software from the likes of SAP and BlackBerry.

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"Everyone is hoping that one of these devices will have business features, and who else but Apple will have success in this market and make business processes more personal?" Markus Adolph, CEO of EBF, told CNBC at tech fair CeBIT in Hanover, Germany.

"You get an iPhone from the company already—it's easy to integrate the smartwatch with the device."

Bringing wearables to the office is a relatively new trend, given that the market is fairly young. But one survey of 800 senior IT decision makers by Trend Micro found that 79 percent of European organisations were seeing an increasing number of staff bring wearable devices to the workplace.

EBF is likely face stiff competition in its pursuit of Apple Watch business users. Apple struck a partnership with IBM last year and it's likely that some of the latter's business apps will be developed for the smartwatch, analysts said. Other companies, such as SAP, are also likely to jump on board.

"It is in an experimental phase, but it is a fashionable place to deploy enterprise apps and you will see everyone doing it," Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC by phone.

Wood added that businesses "aren't going to run head on into the mass adoption" of the Apple Watch, and that individual employees were the most likely to bring the device into the workplace.

EBF's app works by pushing smartphone notifications through to the Apple Watch. Users can then respond on their smartwatch or use their smartphone for more complicated tasks. So far, the app allows users to carry out functions such as viewing time sheets, modifying calendar information, and distributing important company news announcements. Adolph said EBF was looking to expand the range of tasks available.

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The app is not available on Android Wear—Google's wearable operating system that smartwatches from companies such as Motorola and LG run on—but Adolph said the company was exploring developing a version for those devices.

EBF – which has around 400 enterprise customers – said it hopes to monetize the app by upping its price. Currently it charges 45 euros ($47.73) per device to integrate its app with a company's enterprise software.