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What We Know (and Don’t Know) About the Apple iWatch

iWatchRumors of an Apple smart watch have been floating around for years, but it has only been in recent months that speculation has started to really heat up. As with all things out of Cupertino, details about the iWatch are still shrouded in mystery and can be expected to stay that way until the big reveal.

For those of us on iWatch watch, however, that’s not enough. If you’re as excited as we are about Apple’s next potential game changer, read on. We’ve got the inside scoop on what to expect, as well as some of the big questions that are still unanswered at this point.

When

For Apple diehards, the only important question about the iWatch is “When can we get our hands (and wrists) on it?” Unfortunately, as of yet not even that is certain. Speculation ranges from as early as the second half of 2013 to as late next year’s holiday season. A Bloomberg Media report has it pegged for 2013, whereas Apple CEO Tim Cook himself has hinted at “great stuff coming in the fall and across all of 2014.”

Who Is Involved

Recent staffing moves indicate that Apple intends to put its full weight behind the iWatch’s development. Apple VP Kevin Lynch, Senior Vice President of Technologies Bob Mansfield and Senior Hardware Director James Foster are all rumored to be part of the iWatch development team.

What’s more, the company recently acquired a portion of AuthenTec, bringing on board some of their senior staff and filing a patent for an improved fingerprint sensor. Also possibly involved are Paul Deneve, former CEO of Yves St. Laurent, and Jay Blahnik, who helped develop Nike’s Fuel Band.

What’ll It Do?

As Apple’s first real foray into wearable computing, the iWatch will have a lot riding on it. Unlike its closest competitor, Google Glass, the iWatch is set to launch at a time when fewer and fewer young people wear watches in the first place (ironically, largely as a result of the popularity of smartphones like Apple’s own iPhone).

In fact, in many ways the iWatch is the opposite of Google Glass — it will aim to be a largely unobtrusive device that prioritizes fashion and functionality over changing the way we interact with the world.

Living Up to the Hype

Of course, the big question about a potential iWatch is whether or not it will live up to the category-killing precedent set by the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Judging from some of the industry gurus brought on board for the project, it appears the iWatch will aim to combine sports, health and style in a multifunctional, hands-free device.

Next-Gen Materials

Perhaps the most enticing rumor about the iWatch is that it may incorporate Liquidmetal and/or curved glass technology. We do know that Apple filed a patent on July 16, 2013, for a “bulk amorphous alloy sheet forming process” for potential use in a “watch or a clock,” and that the company has been — according to the New York Times — experimenting with thin, flexible glass that can wrap around the wearer’s wrist.

Looking Into the Crystal Ball

At the moment, there are far more questions than answers about the iWatch. Will it incorporate next-gen voice activation technology? Will it contain a version of Apple Passbook, allowing you to make payments with a swipe of the wrist? Will it text? What will it cost?

As of yet the only people who know the answers to these questions are Apple brass, and so far there’s been no official announcement about the device, or even any direct acknowledgment that it is in development.

Regardless, one thing that’s clear is, if it lives up to the hype, the iWatch can have a lot of potential applications, from hands-free computing on the go to monitoring patient health in top rehab centers and hospitals.

 
image via techradar

   
 
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