Rumors have abounded this month that Apple is designing a smart watch--maybe even a flexible-glass, slap-bracelet type of device. As cool as that sounds, an "iWatch" needs to be equal parts form and function for working adults to take it seriously. There's still no confirmation that such a device is being developed, but let's consider what it would take for it to have a serious impact on mobile productivity.
Businesses are still coming to grips with the consumerization of IT and the BYOD (bring your own device) trend, with smartphones and tablets entering the workplace. Wearable tech could bring a whole new shift in mobile computing. What if an iWatch were a mobile command center that lets you get things done more efficiently? You could read email, check your schedule, set reminders, and video conference right on your wrist. An added bonus is that you're less likely to drop or lose a device worn on your wrist.
Origins of the 'iWatch'
I got an iPod Nano and an accompanying band to wear the device as a watch for Christmas in 2011. It's impressive as a watch, with a variety of clock face designs to choose from, a built-in radio, Nike+ fitness functionality--and it syncs up with music and photos from my PC. But, it's not an iOS device, and doesn't really live up to its potential.
Instead, Apple developed a new model of the iPod Nano last year. The 7th generation Nano is no longer square, so it's incompatible with the diverse array of iPod Nano watchbands on the market, and there's no more iPod Nano-as-watch at all.A year ago I wrote about why Apple should take the iPod Nano-as-watch concept to the next level, and figure out how to pair it up as an extension of the iPhone. Other wrist-based technology like the Nike Fuelband or the Pebble smart watch are very popular, so it only makes sense that Apple should seize the opportunity.
Rumors and speculation
Still, demand appears to exist for an Apple smart watch, and maybe Apple really is working on such a device. I recently hypothesized that an Apple iWatch could be a standalone iOS device, a gadget that pairs up with an iPhone, or maybe even an iPhone replacement that you can wear on your wrist.
Nickolay Lamm, an independent marketing consultant, has put some thought into the matter, and did a little digging to come up with a vision of an iWatch. Lamm expects that Apple's goal would be something revolutionary than just following the crowd with a plain, Apple-branded smart watch.
"A simple Google image search of [Apple designer] Jonathan Ive yielded the types of watches he wears, which are all normal-looking, albeit expensive watches," Lamm told me "I also found out that he is good friends with Marc Newson, who designs Ikepod watches. I felt that it wasn't out of the realm of possibility that Newson would influence Ive's watch design."
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