Eight Reasons Why the Time is Right for an Apple iWatch

Eight Reasons Why the Time is Right for an Apple iWatch
Over a decade ago, Microsoft tried to generate interest in a smartwatch called SPOT. Just like their unsuccessful first attempt at a tablet PC in 2000, timing is a big part of a product’s success. At this year’s CES we saw some new activity in the smartwatch department. The Pebble watch with its e-ink display and Bluetooth connectivity generated $10M of funding from 70,000 “investors” on Kickstarter and was due to start shipping on January 23d. Sony showed their Bluetooth, Android smartwatch that works with special apps you can download to your Sony Xperia phone or other Android devices. The latest rumor of an iWatch claims Intel and Apple are collaborating on a smartwatch that could materialize this year. We believe a smartwatch could make a lot of sense not only for Apple but for Google and the Android camp.
1. An iWatch Could Be the Reason For the Nano “Un-Watch” DesignWhen the 7th generation, rectangular-shaped iPod Nano was announced last September, many people were upset by the disappearance of a watch-friendly shape that had spawned a whole aftermarket industry for “Nanobands.” We like the theory that Apple intentionally made the new Nano more difficult to turn into a watch in order to make way for a watch of their own.
2. Bluetooth 4 Is Wrist-Device Friendly
Apple was an early adopter of the most recent Bluetooth revision, building it into the iPhone 4S. Bluetooth 4 includes “Bluetooth high speed” which transfers data at 1Mbps and “Bluetooth low energy” which is geared for devices that don’t need to be constantly communicating with each other. Bluetooth is ideal for devices like watches, fitness bands and other button-cell or rechargeable battery-powered devices like the Casio G-Shock watch and Nike FuelBand.
3. Apple Could Make Tech Watches Popular AgainRemember that old Casio calculator watch that had lots of useful and fun features like games and calendar? As phones replaced all the functions of a watch including telling time, tech watches lost their appeal although men’s watches as a fashion statement have always enjoyed a robust market. We think Apple could appeal to the fashion and tech interests of both men and women with a Jony Ive creation and iOS-remote functionality. Who knows, maybe we’ll see an iWatch that could be worn as a pendant around someone’s neck.
4. You’ll Never Miss Another Notification
How many times have you missed a call or notification because you were in a noisy environment or just not paying attention to the phone in your pocket or pocketbook? What if your smartwatch not only blinked at you but used haptic feedback to buzz the back or your hand? Your phone could even stay in its place as you responded with a tap or even talking through your watch.
5. IGZO Curved Displays Would Make Great Watches

At CES this year we saw some impressive, super high resolution, curved displays at the Sharp booth using IGZO (Indium, Gallium, Zinc Oxide) displays. We’re not sure they’re ready to be designed into products this year but a metal oxide display capable of displaying 720p video with pixel densities close to 500 ppi may be closer than you think.

6. An Attractive New Platform for Developers
As we’ve always said, it’s software that sells hardware and apps that sell smartphones. Apple has always done a great job of providing a fun and challenging environment for developers to create software. Just as Apple provided devices with accelerometers, GPS’, gyroscopes, high resolution touchscreens, and more, an iWatch could provide a very appealing and attractive sandbox for developers. Just imagine tiny games, tiny video, tiny tunes or tiny apps, all running on your wrist-top computer.
7. An iWatch Could Grab Fitness Product Market Share
Another trend we saw at this year’s CES was a huge increase in the number of personal fitness products that measure everything from sleep patterns to heart rate. Devices like Jabra’s UP, the Fitbit or Nike’s FuelBand could feel the pressure if Apple decided it wanted some of that market for itself.
8. Siri Would Be a Perfect Match for an iWatch
Whether you love it or hate it, voice recognition and voice commands are here to stay and what could be cooler than the ability to carry on a conversation with your watch? We think the key aspect here is that a smartwatch will still need to be “tethered” to a smartphone or smart tablet in order to be able to provide a lot of the functions like speech recognition and other communication functions.
Dick Tracey’s Watch Can’t Be Far Behind
Using technology available today or in the very near-future, we think it would be reasonable to imagine a video-conferencing, 2-way, wristwatch communicator similar to what appeared in the comics in the 1940’s.

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