If Apple does launch an iWatch, there’s one thing you can expect
The rumor mill is going into overdrive with excitement that Apple might be “finally” about to launch the iWatch: Today’s hype is stories that Apple’s iWatch might be able to monitor health and help predict heart attacks. This sustained excitement has ensured that already, the iWatch is the best known product that doesn’t officially exist: ironically, Google returns more hits on the word iWatch than it does on Pebble, the product widely recognized as the smartwatch that defined the category … so far, that is.
That will change immediately if / when Apple launches a smartwatch. Although there’s a lot of speculation out there, the one thing you can expect is that the iWatch will be nothing short of amazing. This isn’t blind fanboi adulation but a confident prediction based on Apple’s track record of reinventing entire categories of portable electronics – first the iPod, then the iPhone, then the iPad.
So in launching an iWatch, or perhaps iTime, then you can be sure of one thing: Apple will not deliver a “me too” product, but something that will revolutionize the category. Remember those artists’ impressions of how the first iPhone could look? And how Apple did something so radically different that it took the competition a couple of years to really catch up? That’s a harbinger of what we should expect for the iWatch.
There are already
hundreds thousands of stories out there speculating as to what the iWatch could look like, with blood pressure / heart rate monitoring touted as the latest feature that we should “expect”. For more of that, TechRadar has a comprehensive run-down of the latest rumor and speculation.
Aside from the question as to whether or not the world needs another smartwatch, or whether Apple is actually working on an iPhone Mini that includes many smartwatch features, here’s some pointers as to what Apple might do with a wrist-worn device:
- Tight integration with a mobile device will be a must. Apple won’t weigh down its sleek wrist-worn device with components and features that already exist on the smartphone. It will be looking for a minimalistic device, so we’re not going to see Apple rivaling the Neptune Pine smartwatch, except in one key area …
- … the iWatch could mimic the snap-in design of the Pine, and the Misfit Shine. This would offer a variety of different ways to wear the device, for example, on a lapel, on a bracelet or on a belt
- There’s no need for Apple to pack an iWatch with features that are already on many smartphones, like GPS and an altimeter. It doesn’t even need wi-fi, and the only radio needed is Bluetooth low energy, for a smartphone connection
- The inclusion of NFC (near-field communication) will mean the iWatch can be used for contactless payment – and since this will be a highly-visible use of the device, highly likely for inclusion …
- But there’s probably no two-way video: If you’re going to hold your wrist up for a call, you may as well hold up a phone, which already has the built-in cameras. Ditto a headphone jack: this doesn’t really fit on a watch, plus the plug jack would be too big
- Expect only a relatively small amount of built-in memory – with a price-premium for models with more on-wrist capacity: This is a successful approach that Apple has long profited from with iPod, iPhone and iPad products. Again, Bluetooth can take care of content sharing / streaming with a smartphone
- As this is to be a device worn 24/7 – because of the sleep tracking and health monitoring – then Apple will be paying particular attention to the issue of battery life and charging. This is a good hint that kinetic energy will feature in the iWatch
And finally, who knows how well this post will stand the test of time? Looking back to award marks out of 10 for accuracy will be fun!
Which features do you think Apple will add, or leave out? Leave a comment