In late 2011, the NYTimes reported that Apple was working with wearable technology that could potentially become a wearable iPod wristband of sorts. Now, Nick Bilton of the NYTimes is once again reporting that Apple is working on a smartwatch device, dubbed the “iWatch”.
Bilton mentions that Apple is experimenting with curved glass on its smart watch and could potentially take advantage of Corning’s new bendable glass, called Willow Glass which would allow the watch to wrap a user’s wrist. Corning is the maker of the popular Gorilla Glass, which is used on a number of mobile devices, including some of Apple’s devices. With the original iPhone, Apple had plans to include curved glass but could not because the technology was not as advanced as it is now.
In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.
Smart watches are gradually becoming one of the many focus areas of the mobile devices industry, such as Pebble’s e-paper display Smart Watch and other wearable fitness “smart watches” such as the Jawbone UP, and the Nike FuelBand. It is only a matter of time before Apple enters the industry, although the company rarely introduces a product unless others fail to make a substantial impact on the market.
Apple has also been rumored to be working a television set, which is very likely when considering the “Smart TV” market has already had a number of failures. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is currently a Nike Board member and mentioned that wearable devices are an “an interesting area” and that “the book hasn’t been written on that yet.” If Apple is in fact working on a smartwatch, expect leaked images and parts of curved glass and wrist-friendly accessories.