SAN JOSE, Calif. – If you were the engineering manager for the 2013 Apple iWatch, what would you build?
“I wouldn’t call it a watch,” said Rick Doherty, principal of market watcher (and big-time Apple watcher) Envisioneering (Seaford, NY). “Everything we have seen so far is a watch, but watches are in decline around the world—I’d call it a wrist device,” he said.
That made me think, maybe this will be the first in a line of iWear—an iBelt, an iPatch and of course someday--much to the chagrin of Google founder Sergy Brin--iGlasses.
Like existing products it would use Bluetooth to show alerts, text messages and caller IDs. It would tap into sensors to save bio-data on heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and distance and speed traveled. Apple linked the iPod to Nike exercise sensors early on, Doherty noted.
Unlike today’s iPod Nano and Pebble watches, it would use a curved display contoured to the wrist. “It could be the first curved display to ship in volume,” Doherty said.
It could take gesture recognition in a new direction. For example, you could clench your fist to mute your phone.
It could use solar power. It might even attempt energy harvesting using the difference in body and ambient air temperature.
“We think Apple will re-define the category,” Doherty said. Sound familiar?
Apple has “hired some engineers in this area--biomechanics grads—[the 'iWatch is] probably going to debut this year, but probably not at CES,” he added.
My child have demonstrated what he imagined with a mockup and has a video, and would like apple or anyone to implement and market his idea and give him one. I better would like to have a patent for what he envisioned since it is really cool. What might be the vest venue to protect his idea and at the same time trigger its implementation?
Motorola came out with their Activ "watch" line that is essentially an android with gps, heartbeat, cadence etc. sensors. But as far I know, it didn't really take off. I'm guessing that an Apple version would be an instant success.
Single-digit milliamps is already very high drain for lithium primaries (a CR2450 is of order 550mAh, and the internal resistance soars as the thing drains). But if the user can be persuaded to dock the thing when not worn into a wired or wireless charging fixture, and we use rechargeables, there's hope.
Wearable computers are the predictable next step, in this "pervasive computing" trend that's been going on for many decades now. As usual, Star Trek already showed this, starting with Next Generation.
Beyond this step is the implanted ones.
Honestly, I'm not a die-hard trekie. Just pointing out that TV script writers are also creative people, and there's no reason to doubt that engineering will sooner or later catch up with their dreaming.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.