Apple iWatch under development, reports

Apple may be nearing completion of an iWatch, used for messaging, navigation, mobile payments and health monitoring, reports suggest.

Sources told the New York Times the new wrist-held device is currently under development and will showcase the company’s expertise in using bendable glass. The iWatch will run on iOS.

It is expected that the “smart-watch” would be linked to the user’s iPhone or iPad via bluetooth. It is thought the watch will feature a touchscreen but will also encompass a Siri-like voice-command feature.

Reports such a device is under development have been corroborated by a Wall Street Journal report that Apple’s Asia-based manufacturing contractor, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. – which trades under the name of Foxconn – is working on technologies which would enable the creation of a smart-watch, such as efficient displays and chips in order to provide longer battery life.

Speculation is rife that Willow Glass – a fully bendable type of glass developed by Gorilla Glass makers Corning Glass Technologies last year – would be the material of choice for any iWatch. The potential application of the glass in such a project has been confirmed by Pete Bocko, Corning’s Chief Technology Officer.

“You can certainly make it wrap around a cylindrical object and that could be someone’s wrist…Right now, if I tried to make something that looked like a watch, that could be done using this flexible glass,” Bocko told the New York Times.

The reports serve to support ongoing rumours – in particular stemming from China – which claim Apple has been developing a wrist device in partnership with Intel since last year.

However, other commentators have snubbed suggestions that a smart-watch is on Apple’s to-do list, with Ewan Spence writing on Forbes’ website that the sixth generation iPod Nano’s square design indicated the device was intended to be used as a wristwatch-style device, with many wristbands having been created to allow users to wear the iPod Nano on the wrist.  

Spence writes that given Apple has since reverted to an elongated iPod design for generation seven of the device, and the company has discontinued production of the square-shaped wrist device, Apple has moved away from the notion of creating a “watch”.

Posted in: Gadgets

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