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Apple's CEO Tim Cook has made a strong pitch for his company's new watch, emphasizing the quality, precision and convenience of the timepiece. But the product's success will depend in large part on the universe of developers, who now need to design engaging apps for the wearable.
Already, there are more than 3,000 apps available for the watch, most designed with consumers in mind.
"Things like Uber make a lot of sense," says Ben Bajarin, principal analyst at tech research firm creative strategies, "if you quickly want to request an Uber driver and then get back to whatever you were doing. Yelp is another good example, when you want to find out what's around you and get a recommendation of where to eat."
But beyond consumers, companies are also betting that the Apple Watch can play a big role in the workplace. The idea is that business apps could help professionals work more efficiently and stay better informed.
"If you're a sales manager, and get a quick notification that you're going to lose a deal, that's the thing you want to react to in five minutes," says Bastiaan Janmaat, CEO of DataFox, an online research firm. "If you're away from your iPhone or computer and can't react quickly enough, you can actually lose deals that way."
Tech giants are taking notice. Salesforce, for instance, has designed an app allowing users to get real-time alerts and view dashboards. Even Apple's rivals are signing on: Microsoft, with its app, allows Apple Watch users to remotely control PowerPoint slideshows on the iPhone.
Of course, there are challenges with using the Apple Watch in the workplace. The most obvious one? Overloading workers with too many notifications. As Janmaat points out, companies need to figure out which notifications are important enough to send to somebody's wrist. Otherwise, they risk distracting or annoying them.
Still, workers seem open to the idea of using a smartwatch in the office. Of those who plan to buy the Apple Watch, 94 percent want to use the device for work functions, according to a recent poll conducted by MobileIron, a mobile software company.