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.