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.
I would really love a good wrist device, I would like a single device that shows time, monitor physical movement, (i.e Calories, distance etc.) and also be used as simple phone for emergemcy, and of course play music, I hate to carry multiple devices when jogging or going in woods
I think the iPod nano wrist bands illustrate that people are trying to multi-task their devices. We use our SmartPhones for telephoning, music, email, AND checking the time. Current technology batteries already power an ordinary watch as long as it is likely to work. Use the engineering resources developing energy harvesting technologies to solve a real problem: eliminate the need to recharge a laptop computer.
It would be large on the wrist unless it didn't do much. I think I would rather have it in my pocket. Oh, I guess I already do... If anyone can make a couple of million people buy one, it would be Apple.
So in other words, expect a wearable wrist device from Apple, much like the Up from Jawbone or the upcoming Flex from FitBit, except that Apple will redefine the category and theirs will be so much more than an activity & sleep tracker.
What, it won't be announced at CES? Of course not, since Apple doesn't go to CES. That was kind of an odd thing to be quoted on.
As for the advice about processor selection, I doubt you have to worry about Tim Cook's awareness of ARM vs. x86. Let's not forget that Tim's company already has plenty of experience with ARM cores, and it's own chip development team that regularly tapes them out with great success. Oh yeah, and a wearable device needs to consume no more than single-digit milliamps on average -- and that is the real challenge, for both the hardware engineers and the software engineers.
Cool...pls send me one ;-)...energy harvesting would be really useful, solar of course...temp difference between body and ambient is not large enough though to produce anything useful...I think you get more energy from mechanical vibrations...Kris
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.