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Apple Watch


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SamW
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Does SD have any plans for an Apple Watch companion app?
I’ve been holding off buying an Apple Watch, but if it had some kind of SD functionality on it Imwould buy one in a heartbeat. Many other pilots I have spoken to have expresed the same thought.

Garmin have their D1, but let’s face it - we mostly all prefer the SD functionality over their user interfaces and so it would be great to have a watch that we can quickly glance at to confirm position.

Tim - any chance?
Cheers,
Tim Dawson
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We have no such plans at the moment. It's pretty niche.
SamW
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Hi Tim,
Thanks for the reply. IMHO, I really believe that your app on a watch would galvanise many pilots into buying a smart watch and so wouldn’t be that niche after all.

I’m disappointed to hear that nothing in the pipeline yet but some food for thought anyway.
Best wishes to you all at SDHQ.
TimT
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For those app developers who find meaningful applications for the Apple Watch, this will provide strong competitive differentiation and a first mover advantage. The crux of the matter is that the typical use case for the Apple Watch (apart from recording fitness data) is to serve as a secondary screen for when the phone is in the pocket. By their very nature, nav apps though run on tablets that are mounted in full view of the pilot.

‌However, recently there have been growing concerns that those apps make us pilots keep our heads down, too often and too long at a time. This may sound like a request for SD to display more information on heads-up displays, and I am sure when the hardware (read Google Glass) becomes mainstream, the SD team will consider.

‌Maybe in the interim, the Apple Watch can fill the gap. Given that in the cockpit the audio channel is already oversaturated, using vibrate (on the Watch) to draw attention to airspace alerts would be a very welcome option. Ditto to display or notify for timer-based alerts.

‌Some key inputs during flight could equally, or better be done on the Watch: Start/stop navigating; Start logging at Engine Start and Off Blocks. Pre-Flight Checklist (if we ever get there) is also better done on a wearable device than on a handheld - you already need both of your hands to perform certain pre-flight checks and can't do this with a phone in your hand. I would need to think to come up with more or better ideas.

‌On the augmented reality side (the area that ideally would be covered by HUD's) the Apple Watch could alert (by vibrating) to traffic, and display traffic (instead on the bottom right of the virtual radar). Given the amount of accelerometers and gyros that are built into the Watch, it could easily show the horizontal and vertical target bearing, again helping the pilot to keep their eyes outside the cockpit.

‌I am sure there are many more applications that a good design team like SkyDemon could come up with.
Edited 2/18/2018 7:15:56 PM by TimT
SamW
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I agree with everything above. From my point of view I tend to fly small cramped cockpit single seat aircraft and primary navigate using a chart, but have SD on my iPad or iPhone in my pocket for a quick cheat position fix if I start becoming less certain.

I like to keep my eyes outside of the cockpit and so for me a watch that I can steal a quick glance at every now and again to give me reassurance of my position relative to surrounding airspace laterally and vertically would be spot on.

So much more convenient than my knee pad - which is used to juggle Aerodrome plates, and key data. In fact many of my flights I don’t even take it or even a pen as loose articles and space are such a concern.

A moving map on my watch, even if it were streamed from my iPhone in my pocket would be spot on.
PaulSS
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I think there's a fair amount of straw-grasping going on here to justify developing SD for a watch. I have to admit to having looked at the Garmin D2 and became an instant cynic, so my view is very biased and I recognise that. However, maybe that is the counter-argument attitude needed to answer some of the suggestions to develop, to me, a gimmick.

‌‌Of all the suggestions I've seen so far in this thread, I think the alert vibration does have some merit. I do not agree the audio is over-saturated but the vibration would be a nice option if you didn't want more audio inputs and preferred to just stick with your radio and intercom. I literally have no idea how the watch's vibration would compare to the various vibrations in piston aircraft but I'm sure it is able to do its job in that regard.

‌The radar display may also be an option worthy of consideration, since that is a clean and uncluttered screen but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't justify the development for such a niche market.

‌Maybe the stop/start functions would be a useable, if not essential, function but the rest of the suggestions I find somewhat silly. A checklist? Come on, how much of a checklist are you really going to display on an Apple Watch? How are you going to advance the checklist? I'm still trying to work out what functions need two hands pre-start, when using a checklist, and if you need those two hands, how do you scroll down on your watch? The map suggestion is laughable. Justifying a tiny watch screen, so you don't have to look down at a larger map display, I think you must be joking. Squinting at a tiny screen and trying to discern any useful navigation function just because it's level with your eyeline is ridiculous and trying to say that you're maintaining more eyes-outside is just nonsense, when you're busy focusing on a watch in front of your face instead of at infinity. I'm not saying that looking down at a kneeboard etc is any better but it is not any worse and certainly does not support the hypothesis that this is a good idea.

‌One day I'm sure the accelerometers etc will be useful in pointing us towards intruding traffic etc but by then we'll have much more useful HUDs on glasses, so that will make the Apple Watch's traffic alerts nigh on useless.

‌It is my opinion (and I realise that it is only that) that too many people are desperately seeking to justify a reason for buying a bit of kit that does little more than tell the time and alert you to other devices. To suggest you display a moving map on it that is viewed in a dynamic environment is really quite bizarre.




‌‌
TimT
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PaulSS - 2/19/2018 5:11:32 AM
 I'm still trying to work out what functions need two hands pre-start, when using a checklist, and if you need those two hands, how do you scroll down on your watch?I think there's a fair amount of straw-grasping going on here to justify developing SD for a watch. I have to admit to having looked at the Garmin D2 and became an instant cynic, so my view is very biased and I recognise that. However, maybe that is the counter-argument attitude needed to answer some of the suggestions to develop, to me, a gimmick.

‌‌Of all the suggestions I've seen so far in this thread, I think the alert vibration does have some merit. I do not agree the audio is over-saturated but the vibration would be a nice option if you didn't want more audio inputs and preferred to just stick with your radio and intercom. I literally have no idea how the watch's vibration would compare to the various vibrations in piston aircraft but I'm sure it is able to do its job in that regard.

‌The radar display may also be an option worthy of consideration, since that is a clean and uncluttered screen but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't justify the development for such a niche market.

‌Maybe the stop/start functions would be a useable, if not essential, function but the rest of the suggestions I find somewhat silly. A checklist? Come on, how much of a checklist are you really going to display on an Apple Watch? How are you going to advance the checklist? I'm still trying to work out what functions need two hands pre-start, when using a checklist, and if you need those two hands, how do you scroll down on your watch? The map suggestion is laughable. Justifying a tiny watch screen, so you don't have to look down at a larger map display, I think you must be joking. Squinting at a tiny screen and trying to discern any useful navigation function just because it's level with your eyeline is ridiculous and trying to say that you're maintaining more eyes-outside is just nonsense, when you're busy focusing on a watch in front of your face instead of at infinity. I'm not saying that looking down at a kneeboard etc is any better but it is not any worse and certainly does not support the hypothesis that this is a good idea.

‌One day I'm sure the accelerometers etc will be useful in pointing us towards intruding traffic etc but by then we'll have much more useful HUDs on glasses, so that will make the Apple Watch's traffic alerts nigh on useless.

‌It is my opinion (and I realise that it is only that) that too many people are desperately seeking to justify a reason for buying a bit of kit that does little more than tell the time and alert you to other devices. To suggest you display a moving map on it that is viewed in a dynamic environment is really quite bizarre.

Hi Paul, I tend to agree with you on your comments re moving map on Watch.

‌Checklist: I think you will be surprised how all the e-checklist vendors will jump on this! Just that SD so far doesn't play in this segment.‌
how much of a checklist are you really going to display on an Apple Watch? How are you going to advance the checklist? I

‌The nature of a checklist is that it wants you to focus on doing one step at a time. So one, two or max 3 steps need to be displayed. Bezel turn to scroll through. Bezel click to "check" item. It is actually straight forward.
‌‌

‌Have a look at Gyronimo, an app developer that focuses on e-checklists and a/c specific performance apps. They don't even have a dedicated tablet version, and what they show on the Phone screen can easily be condensed into a much smaller screen:



I'm still trying to work out what functions need two hands pre-start, when using a checklist, and if you need those two hands, how do you scroll down on your watch?


‌I think the spirit of this forum is to do brainstorming. Therefore we try to build on the suggestions of others. It is not my intention to present a detailed technical design here. Pls also note that I was talking about pre-fligth checks, which are done outside the a/c, not pre-startup check. There is a whole case for bringing start-up and emergency checklists onto tab of the SD navigation screen, but this is subject to another thread in this Forum.

‌Preflight checks certainly differ between a/c types. In my case, I mainly have to turn things, move links against each other to check for freedom of movement and absence of play, climb up the a/c, opening valves while collecting fuel sample in a container, etc. 

‌On a wearable device, you effortlessly tick off the checklist item after you have done the checks. On a phone you always have to switch it off and put it back into your pocket before doing the next check. Then retrieve it from your pocket and open the phone again to tick off the item. With some 50 odd preflight steps, this becomes cumbersome. I have also had on occasion my phone falling out of my pocket when climbing under the a/c for some checks. So there is 'pain', and where there is pain, there is room for innovation.
PaulSS
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Okay Tim, I now see where you're coming from regarding your external checks and the technology is at least interesting. I have to admit to being more inclined towards the checklist tab as suggested on a another thread (using another app as an example) but, as you say, that is not for discussion here and definitely wouldn't be any good on the Apple Watch. Clearly I'm just putting a 'downer' on things, instead of engaging in brainstorming, because I've never used a checklist for external checks, from a Luton Minor to a 747, so I'm probably not part of the group from which you wish to capture data about developing the idea and wouldn't use the function if I did own an Apple Watch.....luddite that I am :-)

kzinvogon
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SemperFi - 2/16/2018 7:17:05 AM
Tim Dawson - 2/15/2018 10:59:02 AM
We have no such plans at the moment. It's pretty niche.

It is a niche, but one the younger ones jump on right now.

Although it is not a feature of Skydemo at the moment i would find it useful to have an app on the watch for the following ...functions .. 1) Engine start up time log , take off time log , landing time log , engine shut down time . When you are at the begging of the runway and cleared for take off its really nice to be able to touch your watch to log take off time .... also you could send notifications of way points - using a very simply apple notification server functionality ..  cheers . 




skablitz
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As mentioned before, the vibration alert is the one thing that could help in the cockpit, where it is easy to overlook something because there certainly are enough screens/intruments to distract the pilot from looking outside. I would like to use the watch vibration alert to be triggered by certain events, e.g. a 30 minute timer to switch fuel tanks, reaching top of descent, entering (not approaching) restricted airspace.
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