Print 68 comment(s) - last by theapparition.. on Feb 14 at 12:07 PM

The tech giant is already in talks with manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. for the new device

It's common for people to carry more than one portable device these days. When we're not glued to our smartphones, we typically have a laptop or tablet nearby for heavier workloads or just the convenience of a bigger screen. But Apple is looking to add another must-have device to our growing collection.

Apple is currently testing designs for a smart watch, which would act like a small-scale iPhone. According to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Apple could be using bendable glass (such as that made by Corning) to create a watch that curves with the human body.

The tech giant is already in talks with manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. for the new device. Hon Hai has been working on new technologies for wearable devices, such as more efficient displays and chips at that size.

However, Apple has released no design or feature details yet. The device is still in early testing, but it is expected to be very different from current wearable devices. It could have a range of apps available on-the-go as well as features like GPS.

Many popular wearable devices today, such as Jawbone and Nike's FuelBand, are used to keep an eye on physical activity. These devices can be linked to a smartphone to help people keep track of their fitness goals.

Smart watches attempted to make an introduction long before now, but failed. For instance, Microsoft tried out a smart watch concept called SPOT (smart personal objects technology) in 2003, but it didn't go anywhere.

WIMM, a Silicon-Valley based tech company, introduced its WIMM Wearable Platform back in 2011. But again, the idea just didn't seem to take off.

Considering Apple's success in the mobile realm, it'd be no surprise that the Cupertino giant could lead the way to the next evolutionary step in mobile devices: smart technology right on your wrist.

Sources: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal

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RE: Must have?
By Brandon Hill on 2/11/2013 12:03:07 PM , Rating: 3
I "must have" a watch, but I DO NOT like digital watches. I love the simplicity of my Pulsar solar watch with a minute/second hand and no numbers.

Haven't had to worry about charging it or changing the battery in over 10 years.

RE: Must have?
By Sazabi19 on 2/11/2013 12:06:42 PM , Rating: 3
I love both worlds, my Citizen Skyhawk AT has both analog and digital. Some people may say it's a cluttered watch but I love the way it looks and feels (heavy). Powered by light and radio synced so it should never be off by more than a fraction of a second.

RE: Must have?
By Kurz on 2/11/2013 12:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
I never have to worry about the battery of my watch... I just have to keep wearing it. It's an Automatic Watch.

RE: Must have?
By Samus on 2/11/2013 12:45:48 PM , Rating: 3
Cool, so now I have to charge my iPhone AND my iWatch every 10 hours.

I guess this explains why they went to a new, thinner dock connector.

RE: Must have?
By CaedenV on 2/11/2013 1:46:09 PM , Rating: 5
Rather than actually tracking time the iWatch simply tracks the time until the next needed charge. It then lets the user do the math to figure out the actual time of day.

RE: Must have?
By inighthawki on 2/11/2013 3:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
Sweet, what a perfect way to allow all those young teens to have the most hip gadget AND learn at the same time. Genius!

RE: Must have?
By name99 on 2/11/2013 2:34:29 PM , Rating: 4
For precisely this reason, I expect that in the near term such a device will have very little logic on it --- it will be a satellite of an iPhone, with just a low-power BT radio, a screen, and UI sensors.
If it uses a screen technology like mirasol it can be color, but with very low battery usage (essentially like ePaper, the only energy cost is when the screen is changed).

The ideal would be to augment this with tech that can charge the phone from body motion, but I don't know if that's good enough yet.

RE: Must have?
By theapparition on 2/14/2013 12:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
Citizen already has an iPhone integrated watch in the Proximity series. It syncs with BT to an iPhone for time, and also provides alerts for text messages, email and alarms.

RE: Must have?
By Trisped on 2/11/2013 3:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's an Automatic Watch.
Atomic refers to the fact that it can update the time using the radio signal from an atomic clock. My watch, for example, uses the signal from the atomic clock in Colorado.

There are a number of sustainable power systems for watches like thermal, kinetic, and solar.

RE: Must have?
By futrtrubl on 2/11/2013 6:20:59 PM , Rating: 3
He wasn't refering to atomic, he did indeed mean en (dot) wikipedia (dot) org/wiki/Automatic_watch a kinetic winding (not charging) watch. Link was considered spam.

RE: Must have?
By Omega215D on 2/11/2013 2:23:41 PM , Rating: 3
For diving my Armourlite Isobrite is king. Super bright tritium lighting that's pretty visible in the dark, long lasting battery and built like a tank.

The only digital watch that gets my attention would be those from Casio G-shock. Of course in the absence of sunlight the watch can only go for about 6 months on battery power.

RE: Must have?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/11/13, Rating: 0
RE: Must have?
By Omega215D on 2/11/2013 6:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
Phone dies... go back to asking for the time.

In a business meeting... pull out a phone instead of glancing at a watch.

In a work environment where phones aren't allowed (say a lab)...

EMT tending to someone in need... pull out a smartphone instead of using a wristwatch?

RE: Must have?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/11/2013 6:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
yawn. Ok sure whatever. As if professionals and doctors, who wear Rolex or whatever, are going for this thing lol.

RE: Must have?
By txDrum on 2/11/2013 9:58:49 PM , Rating: 3
Runners... college kids taking a test... bikers... even swimmers. An average person walking around the mall who would rather lift his arm than dig a phone out of his jeans. I don't think watches are obsolete. I left mine at my aunt's last time I visited and I can't stand taking my phone out every time I want the time.

RE: Must have?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/12/2013 5:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
Okay this idiotic "gotcha" type of debate needs to stop here.

I make an obvious and true statement, that for the most part, watches are obsolete. It cannot be denied. In the same way that smartphones have marginalized the MP3 player, mobile devices have marginalized the watch. This cannot even be argued with.

So to counter my statement, someone brings up specific examples where a watch is helpful, if not outright required. Does this disprove my opening statement however? No. Because obviously I was making a generalized global statement, which cannot be logically countered with cherry-picked scenarios.

Also why this obsession with needing to know the time constantly? Smartphones marginalize the watch with another feature: set alerts. They can alert you at a specific time, even voice remind you to do things (take medicine, eat snack, set DVR etc etc) so you don't HAVE to constantly check your watch.

RE: Must have?
By theapparition on 2/14/2013 11:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
No. Because obviously I was making a generalized global statement, which cannot be logically countered with cherry-picked scenarios.

While you may consider a watch as a time keeping instrument obsolete (and it is indeed true), what you completely failed to realize is they have become jewelery, and one that is still functional and more practical than other tech. That combination alone renders any argument that you make about watches going away any time soon completely moot.

As for evidence, while low cost digital watches are more accurate, the bulk of watch sales are in higher end quartz (think Citizen, Seiko, Bulova) and even higher end Swiss mechanical watches. Watch prices are through the roof over the last 10 years, which is exactly opposite of what you would think with the rise of the digital culture.

You can rationalize the obsolescence of the wrist watch all you want, but sales data disagrees with you. People are buying watches like mad, and prices have skyrocketed. That is not cherry picking at all. That's fact.

FWIW, I agree with the context of your argument. But also while I type this, I have on my wrist a Patek Phillipe Celestial Grand Complication. And tomorrow, I'll wear one of my other 93 watches.

RE: Must have?
By Wererat on 2/12/2013 12:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
There was a time when pocket watches were de rigeur, too.

Then, a time when a digital watch was a novelty and too cool. One of the then-obvious bonuses was that the pocket watch had to be carried about and pulled out just to know the time; the watch made time (and other things) immediately available.

Now, we're back to pocket-phones that tell time, but we've seen their disadvantages as well: dropped phones, distracted drivers, the need to pull out the phone with each message/tweet/alert/whatever.

The natural size contraction of the pocket watch was the wristwatch; it may be that the pocket phone naturally converts to a wrist phone as the tech improves.

RE: Must have?
By Scoot2000 on 2/11/2013 8:34:44 PM , Rating: 3
My Casio solar G-SHOCK's battery should last at least 10 years according to others with the same watch. It is also fairly indestructible, I saw a watch toughness comparison on YouTube where it even survived someone playing ice hockey with it. Being digital with no moving parts and cushioned by rubber meant it was much more shock-resistant than an analogue watch.

Unlike a simple analogue watch it also shows me the day and date along with the time all in a single glance. It knows the year so it correctly adjusts for leap years. It can receive time updates wirelessly from the military transmitters. It turns the screen off overnight to save power. I can go to an international time of my choice with the press of one button (very useful when travelling). With the press of another button the entire screen glows blue for easy reading in the dark.

Analogue watches have literally no technical advantages that I can see. They are more complex and fragile. They do not keep more accurate time. Most of them lack many of the features that make a watch useful to me (day/date, backlight, etc), not to mention the extra features that are useful occasionally (international time, alarms, stopwatches, etc).

The advantages of analogue are mostly either fashion related or just based on the fact that some people prefer to read time on hands, so far as I can tell. There must be something about them, because analogue watches are far more common than digital.

An Apple watch that needed to be charged more than once a week would seem a bit useless to me. About once a week I could put up with, people used to have to wind up their watches each night. However, I don't really see what it could do that I wouldn't prefer to do on my phone (which is always in my pocket). My current watch has every feature I want and very long battery life.

RE: Must have?
By theapparition on 2/14/2013 12:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
Mechanical movements aren't as durable, require more service, and aren't even that accurate.

But if you don't understand a fine mechanical movement, then you don't understand. Simple as that.

There's a reason a Rolex costs $14k and a GShock costs $250. There's also a reason in 10 years that GShock (which are nice, BTW) will also resell for ~$30 and the Rolex will at least double in value.

RE: Must have?
By inperfectdarkness on 2/12/2013 1:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
Some of us need digital precision in our jobs. Better yet, I like being able to have a light on my watch...rather than simply some glow dots. Glow is ok when you fall asleep, but what about when you need the time at 4:30 in the AM & your eyes aren't fully working (nor your brain).

The world is obsessed with analog--at least judging by how many more styles of those are available than digital. I have no desire to own an iWatch or any other iJunk. That said, I'd swear by a Timex Ironman, anything Suunto, or virtually anything Freestyle.

RE: Must have?
By marvdmartian on 2/12/2013 8:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
Indiglo, FTW! :)

Actually, I find this highly ironic. The trend, in recent years, has been that more and more people are foregoing the wearing of a watch, because their phone would tell them the time, and they could eschew the extra weight/technology/cost of something on their wrist.

Now Apple is going to have them wear a watch again, AND think they're cool for doing it. I hate to admit it, but if it works, it's brilliant!

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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