By Jim Karpen on Thu, 12/19/2013
Speculation about a smartwatch from Apple has been going on for some time now; but recently we've been starting to get some tangible hints it's coming, with the rumors saying it will arrive next October. First of all, we know for a fact Apple is very actively engaged in wearable computing, and it seems obvious that this will be the Next Big Thing. In addition, Apple has watch-related patents. Add to this two recent reports that say Apple's iWatch is coming. According to a post on MacRumors, a Chinese website with contacts in Apple's supply chain has reported that Apple will release the iWatch at the same time it introduces the next iPhone in October, 2014. Reportedly Apple hasn't yet decided on the specific screen size. In addition, the article says the watch will have wireless charging capability.
Additional evidence comes from The Motley Fool, which reported that a company called Universal Display indicated to market analysts that their future profitability looks rosy thanks in part to the arrival of an iWatch in 2014. They would be manufacturing the OLED display for the device.
If an iWatch has any interest at all to you, then you'll definitely want to check out a great article on Wired. It includes a gorgeous animated gif showing iWatch concept art, and just that alone shows how appealing an iWatch could be. The article also describes what an iWatch would be useful for:
Combined with the right software, these devices could be useful for monitoring more than your existing feeds, streams, and inboxes. Many have pointed to predictive software like Google Now as an example of how other types of information could be packaged into bite-size, at-a-glance morsels. Google Now, paired with some sort of wrist-worn display, could bring sports scores, calendar alerts, and traffic updates to your person all without you having to ask for them.
But the point of the article is that, given the imminent arrival of wearable devices, Siri could well be the killer app for an iWatch. The author says that Siri hasn't really caught on with smartphone users for a variety of reasons, one being that it's "cognitively at odds" with how people are accustomed to using their smartphones. He says, however, that the small display of a watch isn't suited to the sort of gestures one is accustomed to, and that Siri would be the perfect interface. He presents an appealing vision of how Siri would work on an iWatch.
Of course, the big challenge would be that Siri requires an Internet connection, and that's hard to achieve in a device as small as a watch.
Finally, see a post on The Diplomat for a roundup of the evidence pointing toward an iWatch.
Whether we see an iWatch or not, an interesting article on CNET assures us that Apple's 2014 won't be like 2013. This year was a year of incremental improvements. Next year, the article says, will introduce new directions, with the possibilities including a watch, a TV, eyewear, a suite of software for built-in displays in automobiles, and more. And the article says this overall shift toward "mobile, wearable, augmented-reality computing" is just the beginning.