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Apple’s Tim Cook says the Apple Watch could replace car keys

February 27, 2015, 6:07 PM UTC

Apple is expected to formally unveil its next big product, the Apple Watch, at an event scheduled for March 9. The tech giant announced the product last fall, but has been gearing up for the smartwatch to officially go on sale in April and recently ordered an initial run of as many as 6 million units from its suppliers.

While the world already knows the basics of the watch — it comes in three varieties and features phone and messaging capabilities and also offers music storage and works with Apple Pay — but that doesn’t mean Apple customers haven’t been aching for more details about the new product.

On Friday, The Telegraph reported on CEO Tim Cook’s visit to a London branch of the Apple retail store, where the executive offered some tidbits on the Apple Watch as well as a comparison to one of his company’s most iconic products, the iPhone. Here’s what Cook discussed:

— Cook thinks people will discover all sorts of uses for the Apple Watch after they buy it, just as they did with the iPhone. “This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps just browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons,” he told The Telegraph.

— Cook envisions the Apple Watch replacing car keys, particularly the fobs now used for a number of newer vehicles. As The Telegraph notes, such a feature is sure to add fuel to the rumors swirling around Apple’s potential entry into the automotive industry. (The company has reportedly been working on a top-secret project, code-named “Titan,” that aims to churn out an Apple electric car within the next five years.)
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— Health and fitness are key. In addition to a range of health apps, the Apple Watch will monitor your heart rate and notify you every hour that it’s time to stand up and go for a walk.

— The watch will have a battery life that lasts an entire day. And, it won’t take as long to charge as an iPhone, thanks to what The Telegraph called “special magnet technology” used in the watch’s charger.

— The new product differs from previous Apple (AAPL) product rollouts because it’s the first time the company has released something that users have to try on before purchasing. That may lead to Apple “tweaking the experience in the store,” said Cook. The CEO also praised the company’s new retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, left her role as Burberry’s CEO last year to run Apple’s online and retail stores.
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