Subscribe to Mic Daily
We’ll send you a rundown of the top five stories every day

Image Credit: Apple

You can have your smartphones — as of this moment, it's all about the smartwatch. 

On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the company's biggest foray into wearable technology yet: the Apple Watch, which will be available for $349 by early 2015.

The Apple Watch represents a new direction for Apple, said CEO Tim Cook: "What we didn't do was take the iPhone and shrink the user interface and strap it on your wrist."

Some interesting features that Cook highlighted: The Apple Watch has some insane sensors on the back to get data from your wrist. The display turns on when you raise your wrist, and the sensors can take your pulse.

This is cool, but the best part: You can dictate to the watch to reply to messages. How cool is that?

Oh, and it comes in white and black. For the fashionable, I guess.

There are three different types of Apple Watch: The Apple Watch, the Apple Sport (for, um, sports) and the Apple Edition, which is a gold version. A GOLD SMARTWATCH. This is the world we're living in now.

This is big: Really, the tech world has been talking up smartwatches (the most mainstream of the "wearable technology" category so far) for years. But today, Apple unveiled its entrant into the market, the Apple Watch. And it could be a gamechanger.

Apple established its iPhone as the gold standard for smartphones and its iPad the coveted name in tablets. With the Apple Watch, Apple is poised to steal the show from the Samsung Gear S, the Motorola 360, Pebble and Android Wear.

Why? For one, how many people have heard of the above products, save for the diehard tech fans among us? Second, Apple could be hitting the market at the exact right time. According to market researcher Forrester, 25% of American adults plan to buy a wearable device in the next year, and 42% are interested in making that a smartwatch. 

And history tells us that when Americans want a cool new tech product, they go for Apple. "The market needs a magic product, and maybe Apple is it," Cathy Boyle, an analyst at eMarketer, told USA Today. Of all the Americans with smartphones, 40.6% have iPhones; when it comes to tablets, 78% of tablet activity in North America is happening on iPads.

So it's not unlikely the Apple Watch could become THE smartwatch that finally gets the public on board. After all, when Tim Cook presented the watch at Tuesday's big unveiling, there was a standing ovation. For a watch. 

Yeah, things are about to change.

Related stories by this author