When the iPod, iPhone, and iPad launched, they gave way to entirely new categories of MP3 players, smartphones, and portable computers. They were hardly necessities when they hit the market, and the prices seemed exorbitant at launch. In fact, people didn't realize they wanted--let alone needed--these devices as part of their lifestyles when they first came out. That's part of Apple's magic.

Each of those devices proved its worth over time by offering consumers simple conveniences through innovative technology. Now, iPhones and iPads are ubiquitous and deemed essential items for businesspeople, students, and anyone with a desire to be connected.

The next frontier is wearable technology, and with the Apple Watch set to arrive this spring, Apple is preparing to blaze the trail in the marketplace, just as it did with its other iconic devices.

The Difference Is in the Details

Apple devices have gone mainstream because they've transformed people's lives for the better. That was the primary goal. The products enabled users to become more productive and efficient, with the minimalist style and ease that Apple products are famous for. While its smartwatch might not be the first one in its class, Apple is determined to set it apart from the rest.

For starters, the company hired several established senior-level executives from the fashion industry to collaborate on the watch and invited fashion houses to weigh in. The result? A watch that offers unparalleled stylistic options and personalization. And once you get past the beauty of it, you can peel back the layers and discover the functionality that makes this wearable unique.

As expected, the Apple Watch will integrate seamlessly with other Apple devices and connect with Siri to enable quick reminders and real-time requests. The watch also supports Apple Pay, which is being accepted by a growing number of retailers.

Users will no longer have to fumble around to find their hotel keycards and boarding passes, either. The watch will unlock hotel rooms at select chains and speed users through the airport with boarding pass access in select airlines.

Like the iPhone, the Apple Watch will continue to simplify a number of daily tasks. Before long, you'll wonder how you ever functioned without it.

The Future of the Apple Watch and Wearable Tech

The functionality of wearable tech makes these items true lifestyle partners. As they assist you with multiple routine tasks in personal and professional settings, they'll quickly become must-haves due to how integrated they are in your life.

The Apple Watch will give you the power to optimize daily tasks, leverage apps for information and communication, and be more productive and efficient in general, just as smartphones do. But with the Apple Watch, you'll be able to do it all hands-free rather than having to carry your phone around in your hand.

But as wearables become mainstream, the industry will become ripe for innovation in multiple directions. Although few consumers have gotten past Apple Watch's sticker shock, more niche groups will inevitably be identified as potential customers, including those interested in tracking personal fitness (be it weekend warriors or professional athletes) and elite frequent flyers.

When Apple revolutionized smartphones with a more sophisticated (and expensive) option, some questioned the value in paying hundreds of dollars for a cell phone. Consumers also greeted the iPad with skepticism. But soon after, users uncovered the plethora of handy features and the immense value behind these products, and today, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's not clenching a smartphone at this very moment.

As the price of the Apple Watch comes down, the same will prove true with this new wearable tech. Instead of simply being a timekeeper, it will be a timesaver--and an indispensable part of your daily routine.