iWatch rumored to be coming this year, include calling, maps, health features

iWatch rumored to be coming this year, include calling, maps features

Last month iMore learned Apple was going ahead with their "iWatch" wearable computer project, which would theoretically do for watches what the iPhone did for phones. Peter Burrows & Olga Kharif, writing for Bloomberg claim it could be coming as soon as this year, and what's more:

Features under consideration include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.

Bloomberg's recapitulates their previous rumor, that Apple has a team of 100 people working on the project, which might sound high but, if accurate, almost certainly includes hardware engineers, hardware designers, user experience and interface designers, marketing people, members of the services team, and basically all points of the Ive, Federighi, Cue, Mansfield, Schiller star.

While Bloomberg also points to the 79 patents for wrist-bound devices, including flexible screens and kinetic charging, historically patents reflect huge fields of ideas, few of which result in recognizable real-world implementations. Apple doesn't like spoilers.

Google, of course, is working on a different kind of wearable technology, the Android-powered Google Glass glasses. I'm interested in both approaches, because I'm a fan of sci-fi and futurism. Which way are you leaning? Computer on your face, or computer on your wrist? And where's my Star Trek iBadge already?

Source: Bloomberg

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iWatch rumored to be coming this year, include calling, maps, health features


If I can talk to Siri on my wrist I'll be one step closer to Michael Knight chatting with KITT. I'm in!

I hope it lets you do GPS mapping without the need to connect to an iPhone, because I'm still rocking a dumbphone with no Internet.

Not a chance.. this will be one of those purchaces that requires you have already made or plan to make other purchases in order to use it to its full extent. It will probably use your phone's data connection.

I would go for the watch, Google Glass seems to be more of a distraction I don't want to deal with that's just me.

From what it appears, the rumors on the Apple watch seems to be more linked as a phone "accessory" (such as a bluetooth headset, etc) while Google Glass is a full stand-alone device.

Personally, I like the idea of an "accessory" more. I will always have my phone with me (it is, most importantly, a phone), and the idea that I could just have it linked to something is more appealing that having a separate device with a separate data plan.

While the Google Glasses have a certain techy appeal to them, if my above statements are accurate, Apple is taking the smarter route IMHO to reach the mass population.

Plus, a watch can generally be worn all the time. I don't really see it being legal (or smart) to wear Google Glasses while driving.

I'm wearing The Pebble now and love receiving text messages on my wrist. No need to be digging out my phone while driving, running, eating dinner etc.

The chances that I would strap a computer (Glass) to my head are zero, even if it was made by Apple.

But glance at a watch? Certainly. Raise my wrist and talk to Siri? Of course.

I actually find the process of raising my wrist (under my thick coat in Chicago, or dress shirt at work) to only be marginally more efficient than pulling my phone out of my pocket. It'd have to be pretty compelling to make me want to tote another device.

So I'd actually be interested in the glasses if it meant a better handsfree experience. But I'm concerned it'll evolve into Bluetool-ery all over again..

Depends on the execution, for both the face and the wrist devices. Glass is far more ambitious, but needs to come down an order of magnitude in price. The rumored iWatch seems like more of an accessory, with no real "wow" factor. (Which, by the way, is in and of itself an astounding commentary on personal tech to old guys like me -- something better than the once-futuristic"Dick Tracy" watch is a cause for a "meh" response.)

Agreed! I am actually kind of amazed that the medical options here do not make more of an immediate impact. As someone who has family members with HBP, diabetes and other areas of interests the notion of having a medical monitoring device on your wrist and active at all times seems to be an awesome life changing scenario for tech. Obviously notifications and maps would be huge but I really think the medical piece would be a really big deal to mainstream consumers.

I actually like the direct interaction with my phone. I stopped wearing a wrist watch and I probably wouldn't wear the glasses. There would have to be a very convincing reason for me to use either one.

The watch is a better bet. I think there is already an attempt to make health related gadgets looking at your calories such as body media and nike fuelband . If they can make a better product experience it could be a real great new addition. I was at a coach store with my wife 2 weekends ago and i realized apple really does try to intersect tech and fashion. The coach store and the apple store in many ways had a simmilar feel