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Apple experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass

post #1 of 123
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Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass in its research and development labs, the New York Times said Sunday in a report that raises more questions than it answers.

iWatch
An artist's rendition of a curved glass iOS-based watch | Source: Yrving Torrealba


In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company?s explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products.

Two people familiar with the project reportedly told the Times's Nick Bilton that the the watch 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.

However, the report goes on to question whether the device would employ Siri, tie into Maps, serve as a wireless payment device, and so forth. At the same time, it also offers a recap on some of Apple's moves over the years have placed it in a prime position to lead a charge for wearable computing devices if it chooses to execute any such R&D projects.

Rumors of an Apple-produced smartwatch have surfaced time and again over the last few years, but the past three months have seen speculation on the topic increasing. Last December saw reports that Apple was working with Intel in order to produce an iOS-powered smartwatch.

"The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem. It will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come."
?Bruce Tognazzini


More recently, Bruce Tognazzini ? creator of Apple's Human Interface Guidelines ? predicted on his blog that Apple would release an iWatch. "The iWatch", Tognazzini said, "will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem... [facilitating and coordinating] not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come."

Tognazzini gave a caveat to his prediction, saying that it was not based on insider information but "a solid understanding of Apple, its products, the problem, and the opportunity."

The iWatch, he predicted, would leverage Apple's existing patents on curved glass to create a device much like the one described in the Times piece. Tognazzini believes the device could be a payment medium, a means of locating other iOS devices, and the herald of a new, Morse code-like method of discreet communication.
post #2 of 123
Honest question, do people still wear watches? Other than as a fashion statement, what use are they? I haven't worn a watch in maybe 15 years since I started permanently carrying a cell phone with me.

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post #3 of 123

I think this is going to happen, and it's going to be one of the "next big things" for Apple.

 

I can see the smart watch business replacing iPods for them in the near term.

 

Siri, GPS, and mobile payment together could make this an interesting device.

post #4 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Honest question, do people still wear watches? Other than as a fashion statement, what use are they? I haven't worn a watch in maybe 15 years since I started permanently carrying a cell phone with me.

 

I think most people buy Apple products as a fashion statement now anyway?

post #5 of 123

Forget this experimental watch, just give us a firmware upgrade for the iPod Nano 6-gen to turn it into a fully functional smart watch. I have two that I love to wear on a regular basis, one with a TikTok band and another with Nato strap.

post #6 of 123
Honest answer, I do wear a watch. Because a watch is way more practical than a cellphone. A quick glance at your wrist gives you the time much faster than digging your phone out of your bag/pocket/@$$/whatever.
post #7 of 123

Damn it! I'm not a big fan of wristwatches....but it Apple makes one, I will probably end-up getting one! Damn it! :)

 

Knowing Apple it will be thinner with more features than anything we've seen to date. I'm thinking GPS, Pedometer, Nike +(Running), heart rate monitor, etc, etc.

 

I would be able to go on a run, have the info and not have to carry my iPhone! :)

 

 

...or maybe even swim my laps with it! Now that would be super cool! :)


Edited by christopher126 - 2/10/13 at 9:31am
post #8 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Honest question, do people still wear watches? Other than as a fashion statement, what use are they? I haven't worn a watch in maybe 15 years since I started permanently carrying a cell phone with me.

I agree. I own 3 watches, one of which is very nice...rarely ever wear them. For the same reason I hope an Apple wallet comes very soon; the less I have to carry or have on me, the happier I am.

I was briefly interested in the Pebble but I just couldn't pull the trigger. No need when I have an iPhone 5 in my pocket.
post #9 of 123

No offense to anyone...but I think the Nano on the wrist looks kind of goofy and not for me! :)

 

I also think it's going to be a lot thinner and more elegant the the photo above. Too clunky looking for Apple

post #10 of 123
Now this is a great use for curved glass.

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post #11 of 123

When I read comments like yours, I simply cringe. Watch makers are having a huge year, in fact many of their shares are hitting new historic highs. The global watch market is close to a $50 billion market. For comparison, movie ticket sales in the US were $10 billion in 2012. If Apple can pull off a waterproof watch, I might be interested. 

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post #12 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Damn it! I'm not a big fan of wristwatches....but it Apple makes one, I will probably end-up getting one! Damn it! :)

 

Knowing Apple it will be thinner with more features than anything we've seen to date. I'm thinking GPS, Pedometer, Nike +(Running), heart rate monitor, etc, etc.

 

I would be able to go on a run, have the info and not have to carry my iPhone! :)

 

 

...or maybe even swim my laps with it! Now that would be super cool! :)

 

I would hope can figure out a way for a perspective watch to be water proof and still slim and sleek.

post #13 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Honest question, do people still wear watches? Other than as a fashion statement, what use are they? I haven't worn a watch in maybe 15 years since I started permanently carrying a cell phone with me.

Yes, people still wear watches.  They kind of make you act like a normal person.  Some use it as a fashion statement as people in the professional world just come off a little more responsible since they actually know how to properly dress.  I don't have to pull my cell phone out of my pocket to see what time it is.

 

I think this would make a great addition.  I see more and more people wearing those Nike wristbands.  I don't know if I would buy one, but I would certainly consider it if it offers the right features that would make it useable.  I would be open to it and I've been wondering what they would come out with.

 

I guess Dick Tracy phone watches are actually going to become more of a reality.  Whether or not the Maxwell Smart shoe phone is going to make it, probably not.  Just a little too weird.

 

I'm still waiting for the Star Trek phasers.  I think I might have to wait a little longer.  Set your phasers to stun.

post #14 of 123

Isn't it amazing how these "reports" come right after an ex-employee made public his own speculations?
iWatch : http://asktog.com/atc/apple-iwatch/

Any idiot that knows copy and paste can be an analyst

post #15 of 123
This could be an option to extend the iPod line up by one more iPod or a newer iPod shuffle.

Another option as iPhone kit / watch

Or plain simple entering the watch market on digital high end. I have feeling watch market is a large pond. But not sure if apple will want it to run like an iPad market or Apple TV market.
post #16 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Now this is a great use for curved glass.

How well do curved glass watches do compared to flat and thin glass, I wonder.
post #17 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
a report that raises more questions than it answers... according to people familiar with... unnamed sources

This looks familiar but let's dig deeper into the mud.

"Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, said in a report last month. “These devices are likely to be cheaper than an iPhone and could ultimately be Apple’s best answer to addressing emerging markets.”"

There we go. Wait, that's not mud! It's...

🐮💩

What about shoes with computers that have built-in navigation and they force you to go in the right direction? Life threatening but the emerging market needs shoes.
post #18 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Honest question, do people still wear watches? Other than as a fashion statement, what use are they? I haven't worn a watch in maybe 15 years since I started permanently carrying a cell phone with me.

 

I have no doubt it would do more than standard watch type functions. I would expect it to have bluetooth so that you can see notifications from your iPhone or iPad for example.

 

And I guarantee it is coming. Otherwise Apple wouldn't have bothered to change the form factor of the iPod Nano.

 

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post #19 of 123

Might work if Apple gets the fashion right.  I personally do not like watches, as I'm always hitting them against things and breaking them.  If I need to know the time, I just glance at a clock on the wall or on a computer screen or on my iPhone.  In my kitchen there are 5 clocks visible at all times.

 

Mainly I use watches to mark guys as vapid arseholes.  I see some businessman with a big gaudy expensive watch, I know not to trust him. 

post #20 of 123
Please. This is such a joke and a fabricated rumor.

Apple is NOT experimenting with watches.

Nobody wears watches anymore, thanks to the iPhone. This is complete hogwash.

If you guys believe this rumor, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you! Send me a private message to buy a piece of the bridge for yourself!
post #21 of 123
Want. (water proofed for sports, of course)
post #22 of 123

Apple will *never* make a "wristwatch" just as it will never come out with a Model T automobile or a wringer washer machine.  

"Watches" were supplanted in the 1970's with computerised versions and those that exist today are jewelry only (that's right guys, you're actually wearing a decorative bracelet).  

 

Apple may on the other hand make a wearable computer.  

 

Therefore any analyst that uses the term "watch" or "smartwatch" or "iWatch" is an analyst that isn't really thinking clearly and not worth listening to at all.  It also means that whatever Apple may or may not be planning in this area will come as a total surprise (yay!) if and when it's released, because absolutely no one so far has been able to conceptualise what it is that they are working on (except maybe Tog a little bit).  


Edited by Gazoobee - 2/10/13 at 10:21am
post #23 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Honest question, do people still wear watches? Other than as a fashion statement, what use are they? I haven't worn a watch in maybe 15 years since I started permanently carrying a cell phone with me.

I was like you and did not wear a watch for almost 14yrs. Then last year i got a watch to help me during my swimming (I wear glasses and couldn't see the time in the pool clock). 

 

But then I realized how much more convenient the watch is over the cellphone. It is a flick of a wrist instead of digging something up from somewhere. I can see the  time while driving the bike or the car, in a theater, while playing some sport when I leave the cellphone in the locker, etc. etc. Now i wear it all the time except in bed. It is waaaaay better than cell phones for time. 

post #24 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamnemani View Post

I was like you and did not wear a watch for almost 14yrs. Then last year i got a watch to help me during my swimming (I wear glasses and couldn't see the time in the pool clock). 

 

But then I realized how much more convenient the watch is over the cellphone. It is a flick of a wrist instead of digging something up from somewhere. I can see the  time while driving the bike or the car, in a theater, while playing some sport when I leave the cellphone in the locker, etc. etc. Now i wear it all the time except in bed. It is waaaaay better than cell phones for time. 

Ditto! :)

post #25 of 123

It certainly makes sense for Apple to explore extending into wearable tech, so I think of this, if it were even true, as far less a watch than a continued effort to grow the halo, reducing size and increasing functionality. So a "watch" that lets you answer calls, change tracks, adjust volume, perhaps invoke Siri, to an iPhone in your pocket or bag, would be interesting (pressing we can ever actually like wearing BT headsets)

 

Actually, even BT headsets could use a reboot...

post #26 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Two people familiar with the project reportedly told the Times's Nick Bilton that the the watch 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.

 

 

Curve around the human body? Sounds like an iBelt or iSweater rather than an iWatch. Regardless, I'd be seriously surprised if the whole thing is made out of glass, whatever it may curve around.

 

I too have been wondering about the decline of watches. But, it's not like Timex and Swatch are going out of business. So someone is buying them. Furthermore, Apple does not always worry about current market conditions when launching a product. They have their same criteria for launch decisions.

post #27 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Please. This is such a joke and a fabricated rumor.

Apple is NOT experimenting with watches.

Nobody wears watches anymore, thanks to the iPhone. This is complete hogwash.

If you guys believe this rumor, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you! Send me a private message to buy a piece of the bridge for yourself!

 

Sure I believe it. I'm sure there's lots of things Apple's experimenting with. That doesn't mean these things will ever become products available for sale. 

post #28 of 123
I think this is going to happen as well. People don't wear watches? That's what they said about PDAs before the iPhone
post #29 of 123
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post
Nobody wears watches anymore, thanks to the iPhone. This is complete hogwash.

 

I have an iPhone. I still wear an iPod nano.

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post #30 of 123
Those aren't just any watches.

Beam me up, Scottie.
post #31 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard Dawg View Post

Might work if Apple gets the fashion right.  I personally do not like watches, as I'm always hitting them against things and breaking them.  If I need to know the time, I just glance at a clock on the wall or on a computer screen or on my iPhone.  In my kitchen there are 5 clocks visible at all times.

 

Mainly I use watches to mark guys as vapid arseholes.  I see some businessman with a big gaudy expensive watch, I know not to trust him. 

 

I no-longer wear a watch because I am retired and have little need to be aware of the time.

 

When I did, I (being clumsy) often, I would hit them against things and break them... as you mention.  Then I discovered one of the 2 great secrets of dressing successfully for business:

  1. When wearing a wristwatch put the watch on so that the dial is on the inside of your wrist and the band on the outside -- this protects the watch, the watch face and dial from bumps and abrasions.
  2. When rolling up the  sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt -- as you roll them up tuck the rolled part inside the sleeve instead of outside the sleeve -- this avoids any loose ends to catch on things or attract dirt, it won't unroll -- and it looks slick too!

 

...When wearing a 3-piece suit... pants are supposed to be included as one of the pieces!


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 2/10/13 at 11:41am
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post #32 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I no-longer wear a watch because I am retired and have little need to be aware of the time.

At your age being aware of the time isn't such a great idea. 1biggrin.gif Seriously though, when I'm your age I hope I'm half as savvy and knowledgable about current tech as you are.

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post #33 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

No offense to anyone...but I think the Nano on the wrist looks kind of goofy and not for me! :)

 

I also think it's going to be a lot thinner and more elegant the the photo above. Too clunky looking for Apple


None taken!  I've got the black "tiktok" band for my nano...https://www.lunatik.com/products/tiktok.  I'm 6'4, so it might be easier for me to pull off a "larger" watch face...but a stroll through the watch section of a random department store in the mall made me realize that many standard watches people wear are much bigger, much more clunky.  As a template for future watches, I think the tictok with the black band looks pretty slick.  Personal preference, though.  If I were going for style I'd go with henrywatch.com.  Love those watches.  And, frankly, I don't wear my nano.  I was excited about trying it out, and am sold on the concept...but obviously apple didn't include bluetooth support for messages, emails, reminders, weather push, or a proximity alert for when I left my iphone behind, etc., let alone the fact that it wasn't "always on."  I do, however, still use it when I work out several times a week...the earbud wire clips at the shoulder and never gets in my way.   

post #34 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I no-longer wear a watch because I am retired and have little need to be aware of the time.

Same here. Since retiring, I regard time from an entirely different perspective! And beautiful as it is, my Hublot has reposed in a dresser drawer for the last three years, about a year after I bought my first iPhone.

 

But if we want to talk about real game-changers in wearable devices, something to speculate about is bio-implants - optical and aural to begin with. That's just an interim step. On we can go from implants to genetically bioengineer those capabilities that we now are limited to accessing through external devices. Sound crazy? Wait a few centuries - or maybe just a few decades. It'll be a human firmware update!

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post #35 of 123
It would start to explain why Apple abandoned the previous nano design. It didn't make sense from a design perspective. But it could be a strategic move to keep off any wearable tech until they can really disrupt/revolutionize the space.
post #36 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Same here. Since retiring, I regard time from an entirely different perspective! And beautiful as it is, my Hublot has reposed in a dresser drawer for the last three years, about a year after I bought my first iPhone.

 

But if we want to talk about real game-changers in wearable devices, something to speculate about is bio-implants - optical and aural to begin with. That's just an interim step. On we can go from implants to genetically bioengineer those capabilities that we now are limited to accessing through external devices. Sound crazy? Wait a few centuries - or maybe just a few decades. It'll be a human firmware update!


"Firmware changes will not take effect until you go to sleep and wake up again."

post #37 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post


None taken!  I've got the black "tiktok" band for my nano...https://www.lunatik.com/products/tiktok.  I'm 6'4, so it might be easier for me to pull off a "larger" watch face...but a stroll through the watch section of a random department store in the mall made me realize that many standard watches people wear are much bigger, much more clunky.  As a template for future watches, I think the tictok with the black band looks pretty slick.  Personal preference, though.  If I were going for style I'd go with henrywatch.com.  Love those watches.  And, frankly, I don't wear my nano.  I was excited about trying it out, and am sold on the concept...but obviously apple didn't include bluetooth support for messages, emails, reminders, weather push, or a proximity alert for when I left my iphone behind, etc., let alone the fact that it wasn't "always on."  I do, however, still use it when I work out several times a week...the earbud wire clips at the shoulder and never gets in my way.   

I wish I was 6'4! :)

post #38 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Honest question, do people still wear watches? Other than as a fashion statement, what use are they? I haven't worn a watch in maybe 15 years since I started permanently carrying a cell phone with me.

I have not worn a watch in years either because my iPhone is a more accurate and maintenance free time piece.

 

I would wear a band on my wrist if provides the following services:

 

1.  Use for World Watch, Alarms, Stop Watch, and Timer functionalities.

2.  Use biometrics and NFC for identification and authentication and payments and passes and loyalty cards etc...

3.  Use satellite for sending/receiving location plus compass and mapping functions.

4.  Use to control and get information from other devices via SIRI interface.

post #39 of 123

Eight years ago I was in the office conference room with six other colleagues. Out of nowhere the president of the company asked for the time -- to no avail. None of us was wearing a watch.

 

The last time I wore a watch was 17 years ago. I was working at my desk and had a meeting to attend later that morning away from the office. I was periodically checking the time on my watch, and I was extremely productive. I was getting things done in record time, until I finally realized the watch battery was drained to empty, and I was an hour late for my meeting. The next day, the watch was at the bottom of my sock drawer (where it likely still remains), and on my hip was a pager with a battery indicator.  

 

I might wear a minimalist designed watch that has iPod or iPhone features, but it has to be self-charging.

post #40 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I wish I was 6'4! 1smile.gif

I'd think there are a lot of downsides to be much taller than the average. Airplane seats and come to mind. I'm only 6' but I find that economy seating is already too cramped. Not just on planes, but on buses and in movie theaters, etc. I have a friend who is 6'8" and he's at the end where he needs to consider ducking just to make sure he doesn't hit his head on certain things.

Now being much shorter than the average is also an issue but I think I'd that be too short than too tall. I suppose if I'm looking at from a comfort standpoint I'd want to be shorter but I'm looking at with my libido then I think being taller would be better.

Imagine being 7'8" tall like Igor Vovkovinskiy. Poor guy has a tumor on his pituitary gland so he just keeps growing. He was 6' at 6yo. What's even crazier is that there about 3 dozen people in recorded history that are taller than him with the tallest being over a foot taller.

PS: Napoleon was actually slightly above the mean average and well within a normal height for a man at that time.

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