Here’s all of the public information on Apple’s watchmaking activity

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Since the old iWatch rumor reared its head again in December, there have been a few more reliable sources adding weight to the idea that we could see a smart watch from Apple this year. Over the weekend, The New York Times, which said essentially the same thing in 2011, followed up the rumors with a report that Apple is working on a curved glass watch prototype running iOS. The Wall Street Journal quickly followed with more information, claiming Apple and partner Foxconn are now testing wearable, watch-like devices.

While many have speculated what Apple might include in an iWatch, such as Apple employee #66 and founder of Apple’s Human Interface Group Bruce Tognazzini, all we get from reports is “curved glass” and “iOS”. Apple has clearly been testing wearable prototypes with several patents dating as far back as 2009, describing potential integration with wristwatches and iOS devices. By taking a look at the technology for watches that Apple is already experimenting with through the many publicly available patents, we put together a list of some of the features the company could very well include in an Apple-branded smart watch. Read more

Founder of Apple’s Human Interface Group talks potential for an iWatch

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Bruce Tognazzini, Apple employee #66 and founder of Apple’s Human Interface Group, published his thoughts on a potential smart watch product from the company (via MG Siegler) yesterday. While we have seen the launch of several Bluetooth smart watch products from startups this year, Tognazzini thought a watch from Apple could “have a profound impact on our lives and Apple’s fortunes.” One of the many interesting ideas Tognazzini has about how Apple might take advantage of a wearable device is the ability to build better maps:

Using pressure data from millions of watches, Apple could build a precision altitude map of the world. This map would indicate true altitudes everywhere that iWatch wearers travel. The granularity would be several orders of magnitude greater than ever before attempted for a wide-area map at a cost several orders of magnitude less than Flyover.

In the article, Tognazzini explained what he thought will be the standout features of an iWatch from Apple. While outlining the some of the apps you might expect like fitness and remote control applications, he said Passcodes and enhanced Find My iPhone features would be the two killer apps:

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