Sorry haters, I still love my Apple watch

Ah, when your Apple watch first arrives...

Wearing my Apple watch since its first release back in April of 2015, I boldly declare, tongue in cheek (not entirely), watch on wrist, that the Apple watch has improved my productivity, my fitness, my personal relationships and, indeed, my overall quality of life! Sounds too far fetched? You be the judge: 

My personal relationships… Let me hit the haters where they’re going to hit me first, on my assertion that the Apple watch has improved even my personal relationships…

Those around me don’t know why it is that our relationship has improved. There’s no one thing they can point to and the improvement has been just a slight, subtle one, but it’s there. I know what it is, even though they don’t. I interrupt their days far less with cries of “Anyone see my phone?” I simply go to a phone icon on my Apple watch, tap it, and my phone gives a ping to tell me where I left it last. - And I’m better at and faster at responding to the messages and calls of loved ones, friends, because my watch helps me out, as I’ll explain more below. (Take that haters!)

I’m a better driver. Thank you in advance for the studies you’ll send me telling me how I am a more distracted driver with my smartwatch than without it. I can only speak anecdotally of my personal experience and impression.

Directions are easy to see on the watch!

Being able to easily glance at my travel directions displayed on my watch as my phone may have lost the screen display due to a phone call is far better than having to fumble with my phone. The ability to see in a glance at my watch on the steering wheel, rather than elsewhere in the car at my phone keeps my eyes on the road more.

The taps I get on my wrist from my watch when it’s time to make a turn, keep me more on track. They’re called “haptic alerts”. The phone actually gives you a tapping sensation, unlike the vibration of a phone we are accustomed to receiving, when it’s time to make a turn. You might think that’s unnecessary if your GPS is already giving you verbal and visual cues. Once you start wearing an Apple watch and get accustomed to receiving those taps at the moment you should be making your turn, you’ll understand what I mean.

It’s less likely I’ll miss a phone call. Your watch alerts when you’re getting a phone call. There’ve been numerous times when I’ve missed my phone vibrating in a coat pocket, but have spotted a call because of my watch.

Knowing who’s calling me without having to pull out my phone.   

Being able to dismiss who’s calling me without having to pull out my phone.

Being able to answer a “phone call” when my phone isn’t within reach. What’s the quality of a call via an Apple Watch? Everyone’s amazed when I tell them we’re speaking via my watch. “Yah, but how close do you have to have the phone to your mouth or ear?” If you’re driving, you can keep still keep your hands on the steering wheel and speak normally. That’s it. For listening, no need to been closer to the phone. It’s really that good.

A personal assistant who is always with me and quick to respond.

Real-time monitoring of business Facebook pages. You can get alerts when someone posts to a business Facebook page you’re monitoring. Depending on the client or special event, that can be a keen advantage in tracking your accounts.

Quick views and replies to text messages. I get a text message and I can read it on my phone. I can then choose from a couple canned responses to easily reply.

Ability to see Facebook messages. Messages from Facebook messenger tend to be important. I like being able to see them in a glance when I get them. 

Staying on top of breaking news. I like to know the big stories when they break. I see it on my watch when they do.

Less interruption time while writing. While writing this post, I heard the ping of a Facebook message. Without having to leave my writing screen or pick up my phone, I simply flicked my wrist and saw the message displayed. More productivity.

Easily dismissing phone alarms I've set by just tapping an alert on the watch.

Fashion. Sorry haters, but it’s a good looking watch, especially if you upgrade to one of the nicer bands.

Like every Apple product, the watch looks good.

I upgraded to this band and think it works for all occasions.

Perfect for every occasion. My only regret is that it really makes it hard for me to go back to wearing some of the nice watches (nothing crazy) I have gotten and been given over the years.

It’s no more “disruptive” than having your smartphone with you. Contrary to the misperception, you won’t suddenly have your watch interrupting your meetings or social settings – unless you let it.

My personal trainer never leaves my side. Yes, I could wear a fitness band, but there’s no need to. One less device.

Enough said.

Setting a timer is as easy as talking to Siri. You can tell your watch to set you a timer before you meditate or give a talk. Again, more efficiency.

Battery life is good. You do have to charge your watch every night. When you do, however, you’ll have a full day of intensive watch use ahead of you.

Waterproof. I haven’t taken my watch for a swim, but it’s nice to know I could, even if it’s not recommended. I was a Google Glass explorer. With Glass, wearing it in the rain was not an option, which meant you always had to keep track of the weather to assess if it would be a day you could bring your wearable out for a walk. Not so with Apple watch. She’s tougher than that!

Need for improvement? I give a lot of talks where it’s helpful for me to every now and then glance at the time. The Apple watch requires a movement to activate the screen for you to see the time, presumably a battery saver. This is a pain because it’s bad enough to glance at a watch, but worse to have to flick your wrist before doing so.

Let me know what your think or questions you may have, if you’d care to. Thanks!

And let's connect on Twitter! @GlenGilmore

Verizon Weighs in on the Internet of Things 2015

The author, @GlenGilmore, is a social media strategist and educator at the Rutgers School of Business where he teaches executive courses in Digital and Social Media Marketing.  An attorney at law, Gilmore is the author of Social Media Law for Business.  Earlier this year he was named by Inc. to its list of Top 30 Internet of Things Experts.

Dear Reader, please note I have the privilege of serving as a Verizon brand ambassador, which is a sponsored relationship.  Rest assured, though, that the words and thoughts in this post are entirely my own and may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon. 

“If you don’t have an IoT strategy, you should.”  So begins a 2015 report by Verizon on “The Internet of Things” (IoT).  It is sound advice. 

In 2014, Verizon “saw a 45% year-over-year revenue growth” in its IoT business.  Its IoT report, which speaks to public and private sector applications of the technology, adds nicely to the understanding of an extremely important topic. 

The 23-page report,  gated by a sign up, outlines what enterprises are currently doing in the IoT space and provides recommendations on what organizations should be doing to “get the most out of it.”  If offers examples of the advantages of the technology.

The report looks at the IoT application in four sectors:  (1) Energy and Utilities, (2) Manufacturing, (3) Public Sector, and (4) Transportation.

“The Internet of Things?”  It is the world in which we live today.  Things of all sorts have become “connected things,” things connected to the Internet via the smallest sensors.  It is what gives us the prospect of driverless cars, home thermostats that learn our temperature preferences; smart watches that track how much we’ve slept and how far we’ve run.  Get the picture?  As the report notes, it will “revolutionize how we live and work,” with more than a billion connected devices in use today.

Clearing away some of the confusion surrounding the topic, the report observes, “the key ingredients — network connectivity, cloud, security, and infrastructure — have existed for decades.”

What makes IoT so exciting from a business perspective?  Verizon notes that its customers are seeing benefits in three key categories:

  1. Improved customer and citizen experiences;
  2. Accelerating growth and business performance; and
  3. Improving safety and reducing risk.

Why is the IoT accelerating so quickly?  Verizon observes that, “declining cost of sensors, connectivity, and data processing power is making the ROI equations for IoT projects look even more appealing.”  In other words, it’s worth the investment.

IoT adoption isn’t as pervasive as many report.  Interestingly, Verizon study found that the actual number of enterprises that have “adopted IoT extensively” is just at 10%, far less than other reports that suggest a far higher number.

It’s all about the data – actionable data.  People get real excited about data.  Connected “things” generate a ton of data and share that data.  Verizon cautions that the key point is that this data must be “actionable,” it must be “integrated into business processes.”  The secret sauce is “near real-time business intelligence.”

One of the biggest challenges of IoT is figuring out how best to use it.  Verizon notes that to meet this challenges, even “banks and supermarkets are running public innovation events to generate new ideas for using IoT sensors and data.

Yes, IoT will give us billboard advertising out of the “The Minority Report”

Raising privacy concerns, connected devices do tend to track us:  where we’ve been and where we are, allowing some to predict where we’re likely to go next.  Along the way, sensors will ensure that we get advertising that caters to our “likes”, giving new meaning to “ads that stalk.”

If you want to keep us with the Joneses, your home will need to get smarter.  IoT is bringing smarter devices to our homes.  Verizon reports that its network data showed “an 89% year-over-year increase in the number of connections for smart alarms, cameras, and other home security solutions.”

IoT will make everything much more personal.  For business, IoT will take much of the guesswork out of risk assessment.  For example, the automotive insurance industry could replace existing methods of premium assignment that rely on broad categories of gender, age and geography, with a driver’s actual driving habits, introducing “usage-based” insurance.  This could reward safe drivers and place higher premiums on those whose habits demonstrate a higher risk.

Will consumers buy into “connected” cars?  According to the Verizon report, “25% of car buyers said that connectivity made a vehicle much more desirable at the time of purchase.”

Turning data into insights could help existing businesses beat disruption.  There is a broad-based fear of “Uberization” – a fear that a digital startup will disrupt a well-established business or industry by creating a more seamless and efficient user experience and service.  Verizon counters that, “The ability to gather data and turn it into insight is an important factor in building and sustaining competitive advantage. IoT can help.”

IoT will be huge for loss prevention.  In many ways IoT will improve worker safety and lessen business losses.  "IoT-enabled systems can predict and help prevent accidents,” the report notes. For product inventory, remote awareness of threats will reduce losses by activating cameras or triggering countermeasures.

Predictive Analysis and Preemptive Action.  Talking about the variety of IoT solutions that exist, Verizon does a nice job honing in on some of the key advantages of IoT.  So much of the magic of IoT is the use of real-time data collection and data analysis for predictive analysis and preemptive action.  In one scenario, this could be the anticipation of an accident and avoidance measures; in another, it could be the anticipation of a consumer action and the announcement of a coupon to capitalize on the scenario.  As Verizon notes, IoT success is about “agility,” the ability to “predict and adapt.”

Wearables in the workplace will improve worker wellness and safety.  Everyone has an interest in healthcare costs.  Wearable technologies provide opportunities for employer and employee collaboration in improving wellness, lessening healthcare costs, and protecting workers in the workplace. 

Energy and Utilities: 

Smarter Meters; More Reliable Infrastructure

In the Energy and Utilities sectors, “sensor data and advanced analytics can be used to predict the failure of critical components,” “avoiding costly breakdowns. And detailed information on local weather conditions.”  Smarter meters also give the industry far greater efficiencies, with more sophisticated automation.


Remote Monitoring an Added Win

In Manufacturing, beyond real-time stock management and enhancements to workforce safety and efficiencies, manufacturers can tap into IoT to “remotely monitor the condition of equipment,” reducing costs, lessening customer disruption and improving customer satisfaction.

Public Sector: 

Efficiency and Safety

In the public sector, IoT-enabled devices are being used to cut down on energy costs based on actual public usage, smart parking sensors are enhancing down-town visits by reducing drive time and congestion related to finding parking spaces, digital signage is seizing on the aggregation of near real-time traffic information to guide safer and more efficient traffic flow.

Network sensors are both collecting data relating to an array of public services, from monitoring air and water quality, infrastructure stability, early alert of public hazards, and automating responses to address tasks in a more efficient, certain and timely manner.

An energy management initiative using IoT data-tracking and analysis technologies in Charlotte, North Carolina, helped the city reduce total energy costs of “8.4%, equal to 10M in savings.”  Greenhouse gas emissions were also reduced by 20%.


Modes and Pathways

In the field of Transportation, IoT technologies will not only make the modes of transportation safer, from cars to trains, but also the transportation pathways themselves, with smart roads and railways providing real-time data and triggering automated safety and efficiency responses.  Networked sensors will improve transportation efficiencies and safety.

Just how safe will connected cars and smart roads be?   With the adoption of connected car technologies and smart road infrastructure, Verizon predicts that by 2025, “at least five counties will have set a ‘zero road fatalities’ target.”

Standards, a Reliable Cloud  and Security 

Are Critical to IoT Success

Agreeing to standards is still a hurdle in the IoT space, making the decision for partners so critical to reliability, performance and interoperability, the Verizon report notes.

Also, bringing IoT projects to scale deepens the importance of a reliable cloud, as more data is generated and stored.

Enterprises must also be proactive in providing IoT security at every level warns the Verizon report, “not only at the device level.”  The report cautions that in IoT, “every  sensor, device and connection” is a potential risk.  It noted one study that found that “70% of the most commonly used IoT devices contain security vulnerabilities.”

Containing a blunt warning on the risks of an insecure IoT system, the Verizon report notes that hackers could move beyond digital attacks, “like stealing data, moving money, or shutting down websites — they can cause havoc by tampering with infrastructure like electrical grids and traffic signals, or put lives at risk by meddling with healthcare devices, airplanes, or elevators.”  It is a warning that those in the public and private sectors should heed with the greatest care.

The Verizon report lays out a layered approach to security.  It begins with the FTC’s principle of “security by design” and concludes with communications to employees, customers and partners.

“When it comes to IoT, 

you should start small, 

but think big.”

IoT projects don’t have to be huge to make a difference, Verizon says.  Even when enterprises start small, meaningful enhancements in efficiencies and customer satisfaction are likely to be found. 

Wrapping up its IoT report, Verizon notes, “it’s when you start to integrate projects and leverage the data as a whole that it becomes truly transformational.” 

To read Verizon’s complete report, visit the link here (you’ll need to provide some basic information):

State of the Market

Discover how IoT is transforming business results.

Speaking of connections…if we’re not already connected on Twitter, please join me! 

The Magic of Law and Social Media

What to say to a graduating class of law students?...

"Work magic."  Advice for any young professional:  "Do your best to work some magic."

I’ve taken a peculiar path from lawyer to social media strategist.  My law school alma mater recently invited me back to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to be their commencement speaker and to talk about my unusual journey, from Law to Social Media.
I recently authored a book, Social Media Law for Business (yes, I do get royalties from the sale of the book; a disclosure from an abundance of caution), which I guess added some spark for a graduating class of law students who are entirely digital natives.
What follows is my effort to offer a few pearls of wisdom to a graduating class of bright-eyed soon-to-be lawyers from the Widener University School of Law.
I chose to speak about the magic of law and social media.
My old law school said I would have a half hour to speak.  I asked if it would be okay for me to keep my address to about ten minutes.  They said that would be fine.  (I did manage to keep my remarks to about ten minutes, but, there was a quick introduction and ceremony before my address.)