Is wearable technology the way of the future?
By Rebecca Ferguson, Staff Writer
From the iPod to the iPad, Apple consistently revolutionizes the technological world. But finding out about upcoming products is challenging, as secrecy is a staple of the Apple brand. Leaks that do surface are unusual, and when they do occur, they are typically generated by the company’s Asian manufacturers. This time however, mainstream American media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have released reports of a new Apple product – the iWatch.
These reports of the iWatch have led to much speculation about its design and function. According to Bloomberg there is a team of approximately 100 people working on the device. The Wall Street Journal reported an inside source stating that the watch will likely strap around users’ wrists and allow them to remotely access their smartphones via Bluetooth. They speculated that the iWatch would have a curved glass display screen, voice command and a wireless recharging system.
… the new Apple CEO Tim Cook, is under immense pressure from investors to create something new.
Former Apple employee and interface expert Bruce Tognazzini says, “The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem. It will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come.” However, Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris has declined to comment.
The iWatch will be first new Apple product to hit the market since the death of former CEO, Steve Jobs. The company’s last breakthrough product was the iPad in 2010. According to Forbes magazine, the new Apple CEO Tim Cook, is under immense pressure from investors to create something new. The company has seen a 30 per cent decline in profits since a September high. The company is also under fire and being sued by Greenlight Capital for hoarding cash.
However, if Apple does produce an iWatch it will be released amongst fierce competition. Pebble, a new company founded by Eric Migicovsky, recently released a similar product. At $150, the postage stamp sized computer latches around the user’s wrist and connects wirelessly to the wearer’s smart phone. The user has access to email and music, and the company is developing apps as well.
Cookoo has a similar service that costs only $130 and contains a battery that lasts a year. The Sony SmartWatch appears at first glance to be a normal watch. However, it has a three-level mircro display that allows users to swipe between applications, receive notifications, and take calls.
Google is also taking wearable technology to new levels. The company has created Google Glass, revolutionary eyeglasses that display information in a smartphone-like format and run on Google’s Android operating system. It will be voice activated and equipped with functions such picture taking, video recording, Google+ hangouts, translating, giving directions, and sending emails and text messages.
Although there is plenty of competition and no confirmed details, one thing is certain: if Apple wants to remain relevant in the technology field, the company will have to adapt and expand with growing wearable technology trends. According to former Apple employee and interface expert Togazzini, “Like other breakthrough Apple products, [the iWatch] will be underestimated at launch, then grow to have a profound impact on our lives and Apple’s fortunes.”