Apple Watch to revolutionise travel?

10 Sep 2014 by Clement Huang

With reports that Apple Inc will launch the newly announced Apple Watch in early 2015, many tech aficionados have began speculating about how the device might work.

During Apple’s keynote speech earlier today, it was announced that American Airlines is one of the launch partners working with the technological giant to develop an app for the new device. This has prompted discussion on the popular aviation forum, Flyertalk, on how the app could be used for travel.

American Airlines flight information on Apple Watch

One of the popular predictions is that the app would allow mobile boarding passes to be shown directly on the watch. In addition, a keynote slide shown during the Apple event indicated that users would be able to view up-to-date information about their AA flights directly through their Apple Watch.

In addition, the device is equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology, which allows it to establish radio communication with other devices supporting NFC technology. This opens a wealth of opportunities that could significantly improve the user experience. For example, as previously reported by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific (see here), Starwood Hotels & Resorts is piloting a new programme that will allow customers to use their mobile smartphones to check-in and open their guest room door. With NFC support, this could be extended to wearable devices such as the Apple Watch. Imagine opening your hotel room door with just a wave of your watch!

Apple Watch Edition

The Apple Watch will be available from early 2015, with prices starting at US$349 for the basic configuration. The device will be available in three distinctive styles – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and the luxury Apple Watch Edition. Given that the latter option will sport an 18-karat watch case, it is likely that all three editions will be priced differently.

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Clement Huang

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