So you may have heard a rumor floating around about a new product under development by Apple called the iWatch; a new type of wearable personal multimedia device for your wrist. According to Patents, it might be real.
Apple might be getting into Wearables
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It doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Apple seems to make a habit out of creating high market demand for products and technologies we didn’t even know we wanted until they were introduced. Almost every mobile device available nowadays features a vivid touchscreen display that began with the iPhone back in 2007. If that seems like forever ago, remember that personal tablet devices were practically unheard of until Apple showed us how much we actually liked them with the release of the iPad in April of 2010. Now tablets are manufactured by nearly a dozen brands and account for a significant slice of the overall market share for personal electronic devices.
So ask yourself if a wearable multimedia device with a flexible screen is what consumers are really craving? Based on Apple’s track record so far… I’d say it’s plausible.
Will We See an Apple Wearable – an iWatch?
Fueling the rumor of the new iWatch product is the news that Apple has recently filed a patent for just such a device. On February 21st, Apple registered a patent application for an “advanced wearable computer in the form of a bracelet that could double as a watch.” The patent describes the new product as an accessory device that “includes a flexible display coupled to a bi-stable spring” (basically like a snap-bracelet). Some of the features of the iWatch include the ability to modify playlists, view recent calls, and send text messages through a virtual keyboard interface.
By far one of the coolest features of this new product will be the array of sensors across the flexible screen that adjusts the viewing area based on the curve of the display as well as your own body position. For instance, if you twist your wrist while wearing the iWatch, the visible area of the display would rotate around the surface of the device and stay in sight. Another key feature of the iWatch will be its rechargeable battery which compensates for usage through “a solar panel beneath the display” and a “kinetic energy gathering component”.
There’s still a long way to go between patent and production.
There’s no telling when, if ever, this type of product will be available to local consumers. Though if/when it launches, the iWatch could prove to be another example of a technology we didn’t even know we wanted.[via Patently Apple]