As we reported at the end of December, the 'Apple is making a Watch' rumour mill appears to have gone into overdrive. Whether it is symptomatic of a slow down in 'real' news, or genuinely something Apple may be considering doing, the idea has sparked some interesting opinions and theories as to what a watch could mean for Apple.
Is iWatch more than a rumour?
According to the latest rumours, Apple and Intel are working on a Bluetooth smart watch for debut in the first half of the year. We also reported on the idea of an Apple watch back in August. Back in December 2011 The New York Times wrote that a "very small group of Apple employees had been conceptualizing and even prototyping some wearable devices," which included a "curved-glass iPod" to be worn on the wrist, notes 9to5Mac. So the rumour is by no means a new one.
9to5Mac also points to certain patents filed by Apple that suggest that this is more than a crazy idea dreamed up by a bored journalist over Christmas. That site notes PatentlyApple reports on Apple's liquid metal patent, a cellular antenna patent, and one that integrates features into an iPod nano-like wristwatch. We couldn't find anything that we felt looked like an Apple watch, however, other than this patent for a heart-rate monitor strip that it attached to the wrist.
Still not convinced? If you are looking for evidence that it's an area worth investigating, look at this patent application from Google for a wristwatch on Cnet.
Though we can't help but question why Apple would change the design of the iPod nano, the one iPod that was already being used as a watch by some, if it intended to move into that market. Perhaps to eliminate potential competition?
The Google patent shows that Apple isn't the only company that could be looking at making a watch. As 9to5Mac points out, there are a number of similar products already on the market. That report notes the Pebble, the Nokia and Fossil Bluetooth 4.0 watches, and the Sony SmartWatch that pairs with Android devices. 9to5Mac also notes that a Bluetooth voice controlled smart watch is going to be demoed by Martian Watches at CES.
AppleInsider adds that it has recently seen the MetaWatch, a third-party accessory that receives phone call and text message alerts from the iPhone.
And there was the Android-powered WIMM Module, but that's been sold (to an undisclosed company, notes 9to5). Imagine if that company is Apple
So what could the iWatch - if that's what Apple's watch is called - offer? Will we be answering FaceTime calls on our wrists in the future? Will we be able to communicate what we want Siri to do just by speaking to our wrist?
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