vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Apple testing smartwatches - the iWatch

by Mark Tyson on 11 February 2013, 10:05

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabslr

Add to My Vault: x

At the weekend there was a lot of tech chitter-chatter about Apple testing smartwatch designs. From one side of the development partnership, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) heard from “people briefed on the effort” at Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., (Foxconn). On the other side of the Pacific, in its headquarters, Apple is experimenting with wrist worn devices made of curved glass according to “people familiar with the company’s explorations” speaking to the New York Times (NYT).

The “iWatch” would run iOS according to the NYT sources. The newspaper went on to speculate about which iOS apps would be usable on a very small watch screen and if Siri would play a big part in its functionality.

iWatch possibilities

A more interesting and thorough probe of the future possibilities of an iWatch was given by ex-Apple designer, Bruce Tognazzini, upon his blog last week. He introduced his post by saying “The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem. It will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come. Like other breakthrough Apple products, its value will be underestimated at launch, then grow to have a profound impact on our lives and Apple’s fortunes.” However his blog post is “not based on insider information but a solid understanding of Apple, its products, the problem, and the opportunity”.

Tognazzini looked at the recent entrants to the smartwatch market and their respective strengths and weaknesses. This analysis gives Apple some design targets especially addressing; charging, clunky design and the interface. He also suggests some “killer apps” that would get people to think that smartwatches are actually something useful to own. Among these applications are; passcode elimination, find iPhone, phone call facilitation, extra sensors to be used in other iOS apps, NFC payments and music/media control.

Markets and analysts

With Apple’s shares experiencing engine trouble in recent months a whole new untapped market opening up would be appealing to investors. Watches can also traditionally be priced to appeal to the prestige market but, being smaller than Apple’s current range of devices, should be cheaper to build.

Various analysts were quoted in the NYT piece saying that “Apple’s certainly made a lot of hiring” in wearable technology and “Over the long term wearable computing is inevitable for Apple.” So it looks like an Apple iWatch will happen, and one is in testing but no one knows when we will see the first example. All the pictures in this article were made as concepts and examples by design enthusiasts.



HEXUS Forums :: 30 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
They will probably try and patent a wrist with a watch on it so unless we have an iWatch on our wrist we will be liable to be taken to court.
http://www.imsmart.com/en?gclid=CLPL7saDrrUCFczHtAodjy0Ahg found this a Long time ago and will most likely be in apple's firing range for another patent war. XD
A load of stuff like this has already been done to an extent, including some recent and popular projects on Kickstarter. Another case of “inventing” something from “borrowed” ideas and throwing their marketing weight behind it (on a side note, I wonder how long it'll be until they ‘invent’ inductive charging or NFC?) apparently it's OK when they do it, lawsuits if they claim someone else has done it…

Images remind me of an iPod Nano Gen 6 with a wrist strap! Anyone actually try to use multi-touch on one of those things?

Edit: The above should at least be able to prove prior art (not that that seems to matter in US courts), although their peculiar choice of naming might not help…
A more interesting and thorough probe of the future possibilities of an iWatch was given by ex-Apple designer, Bruce Tognazzini, upon his blog last week. He introduced his post by saying “The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem. It will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come. Like other breakthrough Apple products, its value will be underestimated at launch, then grow to have a profound impact on our lives and Apple’s fortunes.” However his blog post is “not based on insider information but a solid understanding of Apple, its products, the problem, and the opportunity”.
What an utter load of bull! :censored:

And no, I'm not Apple-bashing in this case. I've got one of the initial batch of Sony devices (http://www.sonymobile.com/gb/support/accessories/liveview/) - and while it was comfortable (and flexible in the case of the Sony device - because you could also wear it as a badge) it was a “curiosity” nothing more.

Being able to see your tweets, RSS feeds, etc was good - and it's use as a media controller (so you could skip tracks, see titles/album art) was also very usable - no need to take the phone of your pocket/bag. Heck, it was even darned good as a plain old digital watch. ;)

On the downside, the interface took a little bit of getting used to, and the biggest problem was battery life and the stability (or otherwise) of the Bluetooth connection. And there's the small matter of finding apps that were suitable for use on such a small display - you were really limited to text-based uses that used a block of text about the size of a tweet, or a graphical UI that was exceedingly simple.

So while an extended version could be useful, in my mind there's no way that it could have "profound impact on our lives" unless you're the kind of shallow, fashion-obsessed looney who just has to have the latest/greatest gewgaw to show off to your (equally shallow?) friends and acquaintances.

I'd argue that Sony's probably got a better track record for this kind of consumer electronics, and how many people do you see with one of their current Smart Watches? And to round off on a cynical, Apple-bashing, note - when/if the iWatch comes out I wonder whether we'll see a load of hype about it being a “unique” innovation and a load of writs thrown out to the various folks who already have product out there.
crossy
So while an extended version could be useful, in my mind there's no way that it could have "profound impact on our lives" unless you're the kind of shallow, fashion-obsessed looney who just has to have the latest/greatest gewgaw to show off to your (equally shallow?) friends and acquaintances.

You just described Apples core user base.

It could be the worst watch in the world, it could make your hand go numb because it cuts the blood supply off, but Apple loonies will still buy them, and it will seem popular and probably be hailed as the greatest watch since the the 17th century.