Earlier today, The New York Times claimed that Cupertino-based tech giant Apple is reportedly working on a “smartwatch” product of its own. While rumors of an “iWatch” have been circulating for quite some time now, it’s interesting that they decide to reveal their plans for one so soon after the launch of Pebble’s smartwatch. Surely this ploy is in some way Apple’s attempt at showing up the competition as I’m sure the supposed iWatch will have certain features that Pebble’s smartwatch has yet to employ.
While Apple refuses to comment on whether they are actually in development about the product in question, people who are “familiar” with the company have described the device as standing out based on the fact that the device would make use of curved glass, and incorporating the company’s knowledge of how glass can comfortably conform to our bodies. They say the watch would run on iOS, which probably means it would feature a color display, unlike Pebble’s smartwatch. What I want to know is if people would be interested in having so much going on in something that was just supposed to be a simple device on your wrist to tell time.
The Pebble smartwatch is a simple concept that people like. It does the little things that people don’t like taking their phones out of their pockets to do. Say you’re busy and you feel that buzz buzz in your back pocket, but you don’t have the chance to check and see who it is. All you have to do is look at your smartwatch and that’s one less thing you have to wonder about. You can also check your e-mail and change the tracks if you’re listening to music. Oh yeah, and you can check the time too. The e-ink display of the Pebble smartwatch is easy on the eyes and uses big, easy-to-read font.
So where does Apple hope to run with this idea?
If you compare a cell phone from 10 years ago to a cell phone today, you can see exactly what has changed – everything. You take a device that was meant primarily for one purpose and you keep adding more features until your “phone” can basically do just as much as your computer can, if not more. The difference between these two scenarios, phone and watch, is that the smartphone was developed over a much longer period of time. People had to warm up to the idea at first – not everybody was on board with a crazy idea like being able to use the internet on our phones, or being able to navigate your way to somebody’s house without having to dial 411. The smartwatch is still an extremely new concept. It’s only been out for what, a month at most? I’m not sure if Apple has given people enough time to warm up to the idea, but that’s assuming that they plan on releasing one sometime within the next year.
If the “iWatch” would run on iOS, what kind of features would it carry over from what we see on the iPhone? I think the big question is whether the device would feature Siri. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine Apple creating an iWatch without it. There’s only so much “smartphone” functionality you can get with a screen the size of a watch, but with the technology of Siri you have the option to do more than just check messages; you’d be able to dictate messages back with your own voice. Honestly, Siri in a smartwatch would probably be more beneficial than Siri in a smartphone. It’s still kind of funny for me to raise an entire phone up to my face and talk to a intelligence bot. The idea of people talking into their watches is a little strange, but it’s a concept that’s been entertained in Hollywood and media for a long time coming. As the New York Times blog points out (and one of my first thoughts as well when hearing about a “smartwatch”) famous characters like Inspector Gadget and James Bond were both notorious for using a watch that did a lot more than it was supposed to. So I supposed based on that fact alone it would seem like the stigma surrounding a watch with those features is not as heavily criticized as a phone would have been at the time of its release.
Readers, what would you think about a watch running on iOS? Would you be more interested if it did more or less? Let me know your thoughts!
Image Credit: Concept-Phones