February 11, 2013
Reports Rekindle Rumors Of Apple-Developed Smart Watch
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Rumors that Apple is developing a smart watch have resurfaced in the wake of reports published Sunday that the Cupertino, California-based company is currently testing a curved glass display screen.
According to Nick Bilton of the New York Times, the iPad and iPhone manufacturers are “experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass.” Citing anonymous sources familiar with the project, Bilton added that the device “would operate Apple´s iOS platform“¦ and stand apart from competitors based on the company´s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.”
While Bilton said that the company has declined to comment on the reports, he added that the possible development of a smart watch style device “leaves open lots of exciting questions: If the company does release such a product, what would it look like? Would it include Siri, the voice assistant? Would it have a version of Apple´s map software, offering real-time directions to people walking down the street? Could it receive text messages? Could it monitor a user´s health or daily activity? How much will it cost?”
Of course, Mashable´s Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai correctly points out that rumors about this purported project are merely speculation at this point, and even if the company is developing a smart watch, there is no guarantee that the device would be released anytime in the near future. However, experts believe that wearable technology is not only possible, but quite feasible.
“You can certainly make it wrap around a cylindrical object and that could be someone´s wrist,” Pete Bocko, chief technology officer for Corning Glass Technologies, told Bilton. “Right now, if I tried to make something that looked like a watch, that could be done” using a special bendable type of glass known as Willow Glass.
“Over the long term wearable computing is inevitable for Apple; devices are diversifying and the human body is a rich canvas for the computer,” added wearable computing expert Sarah Rotman Epps. “But I´m not sure how close we are to a new piece of Apple hardware that is worn on the body.”
Last December, a Chinese news agency reported that an Apple supplier confirmed that the company was developing a smart watch, and that said device would be released during the first half of this year. It was rumored to be a Bluetooth device with a 1.5-inch display screen made from OGS encore indium tin oxide transparent conductive (ITO) glass, and would interact with other iOS devices.
“The smart wristwatch notion isn't exactly groundbreaking: A lot of smartwatches, fitness bands, or some hybrid of the two, were talked up last month at CES,” CNET´s Steven Musil wrote on Sunday. “Some of those devices include the long-awaited Pebble wristwatch, which made its debut at the conference, and the 007-inspired Martian Passport Watch.”
“Apple encouraged wearing previous versions of the iPod Nano on wrists in 2011, with manufacturers selling watchbands that could be attached to the Nano to wear it as a wristwatch. However, Apple bumped up the size of the iPod Nano last year, leading to speculation that it was developing a wearable computer of its own,” he added.