iWatch watch: a roundup of some of the more interesting concepts

iwatch-mockup

close

Some iWatch concepts are, well, just a bit silly. But this concept by Stephen Olmstead has the kind of restrained design one might expect from Apple. Sure, the hardware design doesn’t quite have the finesse and finish of something Jony Ive would create, but it strikes me as along the right lines. The matching colored wallpaper and straps are a good fit with both iOS 7 and what we’re expecting from the iPhone 5C.

Some of the screens look a little unrealistic – I don’t see anyone scrolling through apps one at a time like that, or hitting a date on a calendar of that size – but Siri, Weather and Compass all look good. And Facetime on the iWatch? Hell yeah: we’ve all been wanting wristwatch videophones since those SF programs we watched as a kid, right?

martin1

martin2
Martin Hajeck always produces interesting work. While I’m not a fan of the rather chunky-looking hardware shown here (I’d hope Apple can create something sleeker), the colored, embossed leather straps look every inch the sort of thing you’d expect Apple to produce…. Read more

Watch Ashton Kutcher talk about upcoming JOBS film in live YouTube hangout

Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad, stars of the upcoming JOBS film, are currently hosting a live hangout on YouTube to answer questions about what it was like playing Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the film. You can tune in live above and submit questions for Kutcher and Gad to answer through #AskJobsMovie.

Yesterday, we posted the latest clip from the film showing the key moment when Jobs and Wozniak came up with the “Apple Computer” name. Read more

Best Buy apparently set to sell Pebble smart watch beginning this weekend (Update: confirmed)

Update: (10am ET) The link is now live at Best Buy

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 10.31.47 AM

pebble

At least some Best Buy retail stores in the United States will begin selling the Pebble smart watch this weekend, according to claims from two Best Buy employees. Both of these people say that they were briefed by management that their stores will begin selling the smart watch. Additionally, one source provided the above image which purportedly shows the Pebble smart watch in Best Buy’s internal inventory system. The inventory system classifies the product as a “digital communication appcessory,” which we feel is an apt description of the Pebble…

Read more

Bloomberg: Apple to release its iWatch within 9 months

iWatch-Concept-slap-bracelet

Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple had a team of over 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device. At the time, we noted that all the recent rumors and intel surrounding the iWatch seemed like the lead up to an impending product launch. Bloomberg is out with a new report today, claiming Apple will indeed launch its watch product in 2013:

Apple seeks to introduce the device as soon as this year, this person said. Apple has filed at least 79 patent applications that include the word “wrist,” including one for a device with a flexible screen, powered by kinetic energy… The watch business is experiencing a renaissance reminiscent of the cell phone industry before the iPhone.

The report added information about some of the potential features of the device that we had also heard of previously, including the ability to receive incoming calls, view maps, and record health data via various sensors:

Features under consideration include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.

Citigroup Inc. analyst Oliver Chen estimated Apple could generate $6 billion of the approximately $60 million in sales he expects the global watch industry to bring in during 2013. As pointed out by Bloomberg, gross margins are roughly four times bigger than TVs, which would only bring about $1.79 billion in gross profit for the company compared to $3.6 billion for watches.

Former creative director at Nike Scott Wilson told Bloomberg that Apple’s Jonathan Ive “has long had an interest in watches.” Read more

Is Apple’s iWatch a slap wrist band with a flexible display?

Apple-wristwatch-patent.

iWatch-Concept-slap-bracelet

Concept via Yanko Design

Color us a little skeptical on this one, but the U.S. Patent Office released Patent US 20130044215 filed by Apple (via Patently Apple) on Thursday that basically described a wristwatch-like device. According to the patent application, Apple is looking into methods that integrate flexible components into a bi-stable spring, slap on bracelet design. Apple even highlighted a number of use cases for the accessory that would talk to other electronic devices, i.e., iOS devices, such as viewing recent calls, responding to text messages, managing playlists, and viewing maps:

The bracelet goes far beyond being a wristwatch. Apple states that with a multitouch display, the user “can accomplish a number of different tasks including adjusting the order of a current playlist, or reviewing a list of recent phone calls. A response to a current text message can even be managed given a simple virtual keyboard configuration across the face of the flexible display.”… According to Apple, a larger display is also more desirable for map viewing. The arm mounted location makes map viewing a desirable function for such a device, as a traveler or explorer can easily reference the information with a flick of the wrist while exploring.

The patent application also described a number of methods of powering the wristwatch accessory including the use of a solar panel underneath the display that 9to5Mac discussed before. It also covered the possibility of using kinetic power sources similar to systems already used in wristwatches.

Apple states that the Kinetic energy gathering device noted above in patent figure 5A (# 502) has its advantages. Having the accessory device on an extremity is an ideal location for gathering kinetic energy. The simple motion of a user’s arm or leg allows the accessory device to harness some of that energy for charging battery. The Antenna in patent figure 5A (# 506) is for establishing and maintaining the connection between the bracelet accessory and a portable electronic device such an iPhone. The antenna can be configured to pass data over WiFi, Bluetooth or any other suitable wireless protocol.

Other possible features of the device mentioned in the application include using the device as a nighttime light for bike riding, edge lighting to configure a colored backlit border, and the ability to quickly view maps and high quality video streams. Apple also described an end-detection sensor to deactivate unused portions of the display for individuals with smaller wrists.

Another interesting aspect of the patent application is a method of using built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes as orientation sensors to make sure content is always visible and facing the user as the device—and user’s arm—is in motion.

With all the rumors that Apple is working on a smart watch, it’s hard to ignore a patent application that covers the form factor in such detail. However, it’s important to note many concepts make their way to Apple patents but never see the light of day, and this could very well just be one possible form factor that Apple has experimented with. You can learn more about today’s patent at PatentlyApple. Another image from today’s patent application below:

Read more

The New York Times is back with the curved glass iOS iWatch story (U: WSJ too)

Image (5) iWatch.jpeg for post 22979According to a report from Nick Bilton from The New York Times, citing people close to the situation, Apple is currently in the process of developing a wristwatch that utilizes curved glass. This isn’t the first time Bilton has reported that Apple has wearable devices in the works, and there has recently been many rumors that Apple could indeed compete with a Bluetooth watch of its own. In December 2011, Bilton reported that a small group of people at Apple were “conceptualizing and even prototyping” wearable devices. The group was likely lead by wearable computer expert Richard DeVaul at the time, and it was said to be prototyping a “curved-glass iPod that would wrap around the wrist.” DeVaul jumped ship to Google in 2011, but Bitlon said Apple is pushing ahead with its bendable iOS wristwatch.

In today’s report, Bilton claimed the watch would run iOS and stand out from the competition due to Apple’s unique process of implementing curved glass in wearable form factors: Read more

iPod Nano as a watch? Great idea, here's a million dollars…

People have been prognosticating the iPod Nano as a watch since before it even debuted.  Steve Jobs mentioned in the keynote that an Apple board member was wearing his (or her) nano as a watch and the Apple Store has started selling them.  Is it mainstream yet?

Perhaps the biggest indication of the iWatch phenomenon to date is that Kickstarter funded TikTock has raised a million dollars to produce its LunaTik watch bands for the Nanos.  WTF.

Well, it is a little more complicated than that.

The project has clocked in nearly $1,000,000 in funding, helped in large part by a $25 pledge getting you first in line for a $35 MSRP TikTok watch kit, while $50 scored you the metallic LunaTik, which will go for $70.

Still!