Smartwatches have become quite the rage over the past year, and this is one wildfire that seems to have caught on with major players in the market. A humble Kickstarter project, Pebble, was probably the pioneer in this field, giving a fresh lease of life to something that we’ve all taken for granted over the years―the wrist watch. In fact, following the success of the Pebble, all mobile manufacturers set out to put a supercharged smartwatch on all the hands wielding out the cash. Samsung was the first to launch the Gear, its uber smart watch. Sony and LG too followed suit, although theirs were more of fitness bands than smartwatches. All the while, Apple has been a mute spectator.
Apple may well argue that the idea of a smartwatch was first floated by them way back in 2008, when the company’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, in an interview with The Telegraph said, “Apple’s future could lie in an ‘iWatch’.” Rumors were further fueled by the company looking to trademark ‘iWatch’ in a lot of countries around the world. Of late, things have been a little too quite at the Cupertino-based company’s camp. As rumors suggest, this is merely the calm before the iStorm. Apple is believed to be working on its own iWatch, which will really put the smart in the smartwatch. Here’s all the news and rumors surrounding the imminent launch of Apple’s iWatch.
Check out the iCurves
The whole world seems to be obsessed with curved screens, so it is little wonder that Apple too intends to wow you with a curved display for its iWatch. There have been rumors about the company going in for a fully flexible plastic OLED screen, as reported by popular tech site, TechRadar. Nick Bilton from New York Times had earlier said, “Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass.” Corning, which provides screen protection solutions for most iPhones, had announced at the start of 2014 that it could now manufacture curved glass products using 3D-forming technology. This could well find its way on to the iWatch. Going by Apple’s ‘Slap Bracelet’ patent in February 2013, the iWatch would probably go in for a wearable bracelet form factor rather than that of a standard watch.
An Apple is all you need to stay fit
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive, is believed to be at the helm of things for the iWatch. It is no secret that he is a big admirer of Nike, who came up with the very popular fitness band, FuelBand. According to watch designer Scott Wilson, who earlier worked with Nike, said that a few years back, Jony Ive along with his team had visited watch factories and even ordered for sports watches made by Nike. Whether they were looking for inspiration, or simply wanted to tell time better, well, we guess, we’ll find out soon enough. Speculations are rife about the iWatch making for a great fitness band. It is also believed to have a sleep tracker on board to register your sleeping pattern. The fact that the company recently hired Michael O’Reilly―an entrepreneur who’s company designed a pulse monitor to pair with the iPhone, Jay Blahnik―a fitness consultant who had helped with developing Nike’s FuelBand, and Nancy Dougherty―a researcher who came up with a patch that can analyze a blood sample without using a needle, further adds credence to a fitness-centric iWatch in the works.
According to popular tech site, The Verge, there’s credible information from ‘inside sources’ that state that Apple’s virtual personal assistant might find her home in the iWatch. This would make a lot of sense considering just how difficult it would be to fiddle with a tiny screen on the watch. The new improved Siri would be the ideal solution to this problem. This would also mean that the iWatch would run a custom version of iOS. This would be great news for app developers who would just need to modify their existing apps to make optimum use of the tiny screen real estate on the iWatch. The smart watch is expected to have Bluetooth and maybe even NFC, which it would use to connect to an iPhone or iPod to gather data.
Stepping up the battery
The iWatch would probably feature a curved battery, as suggested by the patent filed by the company for such a battery in 2013. “Apple will utilize LG Chem’s stepped battery since it offers better longevity than others and can be applied for different shapes,” a source said, declining to be identified. You might recall the great battery life on the LG G2 which used such a battery. This would mean that the iWatch would have a great battery life of at least 3 to 4 days on a single charge, unlike other smart watch ‘gear’ that barely make it through a day. According to a report by the New York Times, Apple is testing solar charging on its smartwatch that would help top up its battery through the day. The newspaper, however, was quick to point out that this technology is probably “years from becoming reality.” We might just see inductive charging find its way onto the iWatch, as this would be a sensible and practical approach to charging it. This would be a first for the company which hasn’t yet introduced wireless charging on to the iPhone.
The iWatch would probably let you control your iPhone’s music player and display notifications from it. It is highly unlikely though that it would let you place calls from it. Talking about display, Apple’s recent tie-up with sapphire glass manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies strongly suggest that the iWatch that is in the works might have sapphire glass to protect its display. Of course, there is no word on the pricing yet, but an anonymous analyst suggests that this would probably range between USD 149 to 229. Considering just how overpriced Apple products are, this seems just about right. Going by all the features and specifications of the iWatch, it is bound to be the game changer in this field and would probably be the first watch worthy of the ‘smart’ title. There’s a way to go before this highly-anticipated smartwatch makes its way onto the wrists of customers, and we can’t wait for it to get here already. In the meanwhile, we’ll keep you updated with all the news, leaks, and rumors about the iWatch. So, stay tuned. Cheers.