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After revolutionizing the market of cell phones and popularization of media tablets, Apple wants to tap a completely different market, the market of wrist watches, which has existed for about a hundred of years. With its first devices designed to be wearable, Apple will likely cause a lot of market buzz. But will it actually create a yet another revolution?

In its headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, reports the New York Times. The company has already discussed such a device with its major manufacturing partner, Foxconn Electronics. The latter has been working on a spate of technologies that could be used in wearable devices, according to the Wall Street Journal. The new device is projected to utilize Apple’s iOS operating system and may therefore be more powerful than Apple’s today’s personal digital media players that use custom OS.

Apple, one of the most successful consumer electronics companies of our times, has been experimenting with wearable computing devices for quite some time and the iWatch gadget has been discussed for several times already. In the recent years Apple additionally hired employees with backgrounds in sensors and related technologies.

Even though the first rumours about the iWatch emerged quite some time before the iPad was launched or the iPhone gained numerous of its key technologies, it is still unclear what kind of feature-set Apple wants for its wearable gadget.

While the first wrist watch was invented by Patek Philippe in 1868 and were made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary, the wrist watch never became popular until the First World War when soldiers needed to watch time while their hands were full. The iWatch should conceptually deliver functionality of the iOS to people with busy hands. Obviously, the wrist watch is not a good solution for browsing the Internet and therefore the iWatch should rely massively on specially designed applications.

There are a number of technological challenges with making durable wearable devices. First of all, special bendable glass and touch-screens for displays need to be utilized. There are a number of achievements in this direction, including Corning Willow glass that can be wrapped around a cylindrical object and that could be someone’s wrist. Secondly, OLED displays will need to be used for such products. Thirdly, very small chips possibly on curved printed-circuit boards must be utilized for such wearable computing devices. Finally, new types of batteries should be used for this type of gadgets. In theory, many of ingredients for smart wrist watch are available today, but when one company combine them in a brand-new device is unclear.

Apple did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Apple, iPhone, iPad, iOS, iPod, Mac, Macintosh

Discussion

Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 02/11/13 02:52:09 PM
Latest comment: 02/13/13 11:32:54 PM
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1. 
I'm happy with my Casio analogue wrist watch thanks. Wrist watches used to be about status and class until the Japanese made them ubiquitous. Swatch made them a fashion item - but that became passe by the mid 90s. I think technology is really getting out of hand (pardon the pun). I could see how this would be popular with the Apple fans, many of them young women and quasi-gay young men for whom identity through fashion is a priority. And the Apple watch would show his sophisticated Apple taste immediately on the outside, rather than needing to whip out his iPhone5 to make a phony call in Starbucks to attract the hipster girl at the next table with the thick rimmed glasses, pink tinted hair and nose ring (yeah he also has 100 Facebook friends if you didn't know it).
0 0 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 02/11/13 02:52:09 PM]
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2. 
I actually stopped using my watch ever since I got my first a cellphone, because it had the time and the same stop-watch capabilities. I don't really know if I'd get even competitors to this "iWatch", I don't even have a smartphone, mines pretty simple.

I did love my analog+digital watch in high school though, of course back then the internet wasn't part of school culture, and fanciest gadgets any kid had was a beeper.
0 0 [Posted by: lehpron  | Date: 02/11/13 08:09:15 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
And calculators from Asia that could graph quadratic equations.
0 0 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 02/12/13 12:23:07 AM]
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Oh yeah, and while everyone else had the ever popular Ti graphing calculators, I had among the few color ones by Casio that worked all the way through college. In many ways, it was my first real computer; boot times were instantaneous, it was versatile. The only function it lacked that the popular Ti's had was symbolic integration. But I thought the colored graphics were cool; and the only aspect of popular culture I ever owned then was a random "No Fear" T-shirt.
0 0 [Posted by: lehpron  | Date: 02/12/13 10:17:49 AM]
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3. 
Well what other 'fashion accessory' can apple 're-design' and then flog to their mindless devotees BIGSMILE.jpg

Maybe ..................glasses
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Ohhhh noooos the evil google is already doing that
0 0 [Posted by: alpha0ne  | Date: 02/13/13 11:32:54 PM]
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