iWatch: Five problems I'd like to have solved by an Apple wearable

iWatch: Five problems I'd like to have solved by an Apple wearable

If the iPhone and iPad have taught us anything it's that no one can predict what an Apple product will be like no matter how obvious it later seems in hindsight. Such will almost certainly be the case with the iWatch, or iBand, or whatever Apple ultimately calls their wearable, if/when they decide to ship it. But I do think there are real problems a wearable device can solve, and problems an Apple wearable is perhaps best positioned to solve.

The iWatch-er's dilemma

Apple is seldom first to market with major products. They don't cater to the early adopters. We suffered years of pain from Treo and BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, and Apple got years of real-world feedback before we got the iPhone. Likewise we were tortured by Tablet PC for a decade before the iPad became possible. In both cases Apple saw what the problems were, figured out how they could make something better, and then shipped into a maturing market.

Right now we're barely in the Handspring Visor stage of wearables. There hasn't been years of product on the market, suffering to see, and feedback generated that Apple can use to see where and how they can make something better. The market isn't yet mature and where an iWatch or iBand could succeed may not yet be clear.

There's also the question of positioning — would an iWatch be a flagship product like the iPhone or a companion product like the Apple TV? Would an iWatch be a business or a hobby?

Technology and market realities aside, for anything iPhone- or iPad-like, Apple would have to have an iPhone- or iPad-level use case to make. In 2007 Steve Jobs showed why a full-screen, multitouch device with a compelling user experience instantly obsoleted the resistive, stylus- and keyboard-driven not-very smartphones of its time. In 2010, Jobs made a case for how the iPad was significantly better at specific set of things than either a smartphone or a laptop. A watch or similar class iOS device would have to likewise obsolete, or provide a compelling use-case for it to be considered an independent and important device in its own right.

Either way, I think there's little doubt that a first generation iWatch would be similar to a first generation iPhone, which lacked even a 3G radio, or a first generation iPad, which lacked even a camera. It would be a first step, but a first step towards a product line that eventually, generations later, yields the wearable equivalent to an iPhone 5 or iPad Air.

So, where could Apple start?

1. Notification

This is the easy one, the obvious one, the one on everyone's list. We've had popups since the iPhone launched and Notification Center banners since iOS 5. The idea of projecting popups or banners from the device in our pockets and purses to the device on our wrists is appealing in several ways.

My friend, for example, works in a hospital where the paging system is run on iPhone. She seldom has pockets in her clothes and the phone weighs down her lab coat. Thanks to her smartwatch, however, she can leave her phone on her desk and do her rounds, and all her pages show up on her wrist.

I have another friend who loves bike riding, skiing, and other sports and uses a smartwatch because it's difficult to hear it beep or feel it buzz when he's out and about, and nearly impossible to fish it out and check it when it does. The smartwatch lets him simply glance at his wrist and either make note of the information or see there's something urgent enough that he has to stop and handle it.

Personally I don't use a lot of notifications. High volume notification, for me, is indistinguishable from interruption. I only keep a very few on, but those I do keep on are really important to me and I absolutely don't want to miss them. Right now I miss them. I don't notice the beeps or buzzes either. I want something that somehow makes them damn-near un-missable.

2. Logging

The Apple M7 motion coprocessor allows the iPhone 5s to record acceleration, direction, orientation, rotation, and position data persistently without waking up the bigger, more demanding Apple A7 system-on-a-chip. As a result, I can use apps to track things like the steps I've taken. But I don't always have or want to have my iPhone with me, either because I've walked away and left it on my desk, or I'm working out and don't want it weighing me down.

Conversely, I've got most fitness trackers on the market and I've lost count of how many times I've forgotten to charge them or left them on the charger. I'd love something that would work seamlessly and interchangeably with my iPhone, handing off from one to the other no matter which I have with me at the moment. I'd love to not have to worry if I'm carrying my iPhone, iPad, or neither because my iWatch is on.

When/if breathing, blood, heart-rate, and other sorts of tracking technologies are feasible on mobile as well, it would only increase the value, like a forward deployed sensor array. It's a remote logging tool.

Update: Apple has introduced Health and HealthKit as part of iOS 8 to aggregate and propagate just this type of data. With it, and similar technologies in other areas, an Apple wearable could log much of what we do, even when we don't have an iPhone or iPad around.

3. Authentication

Passcodes are something we know. Touch ID fingerprints are something we are. The third factor of security is a token, something we have. A modern implementation of that idea is the Bluetooth trusted device. There's a lot of debate and discussion about just how secure Bluetooth trust really is but in general the idea that coming into proximity with something can unlock that thing holds a lot of appeal. An iPhone that you unlock with a passcode or Touch ID that then projects that trust to a Mac or even a home security system would be convenient. An iWatch that unlocks your iPhone or Mac simply by being close to it, less secure but even more convenient. An iWatch that has to be close to your iPhone or iMac, in addition to a passcode and/or fingerprint is less convenient but full-on multi-factor secure.

Security is still too complex and too obscure. Touch ID is a great first step in making it more convenient. An iWatch or Apple wearable could be another into making our devices either more convenient still or more secure than ever.

4. Control

I have a Hue light system at home. I have a SONOS speaker system. I control both with my iPhone, but it means my iPhone always has to be available to control them with. If it's in another room, or out of power, it's a major hassle. A wearable or a watch, if it could either communicate directly over Bluetooth LE, or if power allows, direct point-to-point Wi-Fi, then we'd have another remote control to use. As more and more objects become connected — become "smart" — a wearable as remote control becomes more and more valuable.

Update: Apple has announced HomeKit, a new framework for developers that standardizes home automation and "internet of things", including the ability to group actions together and use Siri for voice control. So, for example, you could say "Goodnight Siri" and HomeKit compatible devices would make sure your garage is closed, your doors are locked, your lights and music are off, and your coffee machine is set to help wake you up in the morning. That sure would be great to see on a wearable...

5. Range

The idea of an iWatch as a watch has... limited appeal to me. I haven't worn a watch regularly for years, not since I started carrying a smartphone. I've tried out smartwatches but none of have stuck, and I still have a watch that's more for jewelry than utility. But it does suggest an interesting dynamic. Just like an iPhone wasn't a regular phone but a mobile computer with a phone app, the iWatch might well not be a regular watch but an ultra-mobile computer with a watch app.

There are two ways Apple could go with that. They could make a range of watches from popular to premium, from fun to fashion, from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Or they could sidestep the watch entirely and make a band that, among other things, tells time if it really has to.

Having a low-end fitness band style "shuffle" option, could not only obviate the need for a traditional watch-as-time-keeper for those who don't wear them, but could easily be worn alongside a traditional watch-as-jewelry for those who do. It's the advantage that fitness bands have today, whether worn alone, on a different wrist, or the same wrist as a traditional watch. It's also an advantage current smartwatches don't and can't have.

One day there could be a range of iWatch/iBand products, with something as simple as the iPod shuffle on the low end and as audacious — and expensive — as the Mac Pro on the high end, but how much of that range can be launched at once, and what's the best, most mainstream place to start?

6. And more!

LTE and Wi-Fi probably can't be put into any small-sized wearable any time soon. A Bluetooth connection to an iPhone is fine as long as they're within 30 feet or so. But what if they're not? Apple's been working on multi-peer networking, on creating a mesh that can be hopped from device to device, access point to access point, in hopes of getting online to get what small amount of information it needs. Could that help ensure better connectivity at greater range for a wearable?

If Apple gets into gestures and gaming on the Apple TV, could motion tracking in an iWatch work as a controller for both interface and action on the big screen?

If Apple gets into mobile payments one day, could an iWatch-as-token authenticate purchases even when an iPhone isn't handy? As a Canadian soaking in NFC (near-field communications) — my gas stations, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, shopping malls, etc. all support tap-to-pay — having payment authentication on my wrist, no matter how it's implemented.

Apple doesn't mistake chipsets for feature sets. They don't fall in love with technologies and try desperately to cram them into products. They figure out what matters most and how best to deliver it. That said, there are some technologies at play that seem to fit with an iWatch even if I'm not sure quite how yet.

What problems would you like like solved by an iWatch?

That's my list of problems I'd like to see solved by an iWatch but I'm curious to know — what are yours? Is there anything your current iPhone or iPad can't do that you think a wearable could?

Note: Originally published April, 2014. Updated August 2014.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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: Five problems I'd like to have solved by an Apple wearable


Rene, All my co-worker driving me crazy holding their android smart watches, making fun of me that i have to wait forever!! the biggest problem is where is it? why took so long? too much till Q3..they really late, don't you think so?

Because those android smartwatches suck. (Sorry, they do!). Would you have wanted a 2005 iPhone or 2008 iPad? They would have sucked.

Personally, I don't want a premature iWatch. I want it when it's ready.

Ok. Just seems irrelevant to my question for Rene.

Android on a watch is worlds different than Android Wear on a watch, hence the question for clarity on what Rene meant.

What proof do you have that they are "selling"? Where are the blowout sales numbers? If they really were selling well don't you think they'd want everyone to know?

Current ones on the market, though that's not a slight against Android because I don't think many/any are doing it better, including the new Tizen ones from Samsung.

Andrew Wear is vapor wear right now. If it does what it shows on the video, I'll buy one immediately because sci-fi. If it doesn't I'll curse them loudly for raising expectations in a category that needs to be more responsibly managed :)

HAHAHAHA. I hear you there. :-D

I agree 100% on current one's and feel the same about Wear [instant-buy]. I wouldn't call it vapor though [it exists but is very early stage].

Here's hope for getting into I/O so I can get a free one. ;-) HAHA

I definitely am only looking at Android Wear (Moto 360 to be exact) or the iWatch.

Unfortunately, since I use a Nexus 5 (the only Android device I actually like anymore next to the Moto X) I'll most likely have to go with the Moto 360 since I'm sure the iWatch will be Apple products only.

But from a design standpoint and current overview of Android Wear...how many of your problems do you think 360/Wear fixes so far?

I personally love the Moto 360. I think it's the first smartwatch that actually looks like a traditional watch. I'd like to see an iWatch sport a round bezel.

It doesn't exist yet! That's my only problem with it! I'd have rather they spare the renders and shock me with a launch event showing the actual watch doing all those amazing things.

Ha ha! Yea your right. If they would have showed that at a live event that would have been nice. Now we wait for who knows how long lol

They're launching it in the summer. No guess to when. Just a matter of if they deliver on their vision. Which I believe they will, Motorola has been doing all the right things lately. They realize, like Google with Nexus and Apple with iDevices, that it's not about specs. It's not about hype/buzzwords. It's about experiences. I don't think the current Motorola would show us something they wouldn't be able to deliver. And they're trying to already differentiate themselves from the pack from the get go. I hope it just pays off for them. They deserve the success. I rather them be leading the Android pack than Samsung.

Things I would like to see:

- Time and date (it is a watch)
- Waterproof (not just water resistant but to 10 metres)
- Customizable specific notification (like reminders, meetings, you have been sitting for an hour time to get up and move – all with text to see what the reminder is)
- Caller ID (I guess this assumes my phone is with me)

and all those features that the fitness trackers seem to have...

I think your first "want" is based on an error.

It is not "a watch" any more than my computer, my phone, my car, my TV and my stove are a "watch" simply because they have a time function. Thinking of it as a watch, is clearly the wrong way to approach this whole category of products.

You could probably argue it many ways... but I think it depends on whether you are thinking of this device as a noun or a verb. In my opinion, Apple tends to think of these devices as verbs!

Watch definition
As a noun - a small timepiece worn typically on a strap on one's wrist.
As a verb - look at or observe attentively, typically over a period of time.

But if you look at features, I think having a time and date should be a minimum on any device (be it portable or not).

I've been skeptical of the idea of an iWatch from the beginning... but with this feature set, I might buy one.

Also: "obsolete" is not a verb.

Super excellent article as always Rene. And as a person who has actually used ALL the technology in question, it has a lot more weight than the bloviating of the rest of us. :-)

This is pretty much what I expect Apple to make. A cool fitness band that's better than the rest, that perhaps also has notifications and Siri. Personally, I have no need for such a thing, but I think it will sell reasonably well.

PS - typo in section 4, paragraph 4, first line ... "produces." Eh?

The biggest problem I see with the smartwatch of any variety is that you still need your phone with you. If I'm in a place where I can have my phone safely in my pocket, I'll just use the phone. If I'm on the lacrosse field coaching, I don't want my nice iPhone5S to get broken, so I would love to have a smartwatch there, but without the phone its useless.

Definitely has to have GPS to track workouts. A radio that let's you make phone calls and text messages in case you're not near your phone is crucial too.

On a unrelated sidenote, I would love for the iphone to get an LED screen at some point so that when you get a notification, only the notification section of the screen turns on, saving battery life.

I think another advantage of an iWatch would be when you get a notification and your hands are full. A quick glance gives the information you just received with stopping, putting something in your hand down and retrieving your phone. Also transit directions could be seen at a glance with getting out your phone.

Yup, absolutely!

Georgia, ahem, dropped and broke her iPhone while trying to check a notification while holding a box of donuts. Because, couldn't drop the tasty donuts!

I think to get the full advantage they also need to develop an earbud of some type. Something that doesn't look like a insect crawling out of your uear. This would allow auditory information in private. Again let's say your hands are occupied and your walking down a crowded street but you see a notification that you've just received a much needed reply to a text or email. Rather than trying to read it on the watch, you activate Siri and have her read it to you but only you hear it. The phone stays in your pocket or purse. The ear bud compliments the iWatch and the phone serves as the hub linking the two external devices.

By the way congrats to Georgia for saving the donuts. Got to have the priorities right!

This list is spot on. One question I have is whether you think the addition of a mic to hand off siri requests to a phone/etc and relay the answer back to the wrist display is a worthy feature? Obviously Siri is the hands free computing UI and if the goal is to keep you from taking your phone out maybe its worth it. But most of the output from it is aural and not visual so maybe it doesn't mesh?

Sent from the iMore App

I'm conflicted on that. My inner Dick Tracy says hellsyeah. My years of frustration with voice tech says we're not there yet.

However, if wearables are to ever replace phones are primary computing platforms they'll need a interface that can do more than their tiny size would otherwise allow, and they will likely involve voice (until mind bullets are viable, of course.)

1) Water resistant
2) Durable. I am ok in compromising the looks but I don't want another *case* for my iWatch! Lol
3) Display should be retina!

Sent from the iMore App

1. Style (Pebbles and Galaxy Gears scream "LOOK I HAVE A SMARTWATCH! I'M A GEEK!"
2. Week-long battery (I don't need more charge-anxiety on top of my pathetic 12-hour iPhone)
3. Durability/water-resistance
4. Siri (this could, and should, be the killer-app for the iWatch)

I keep hoping for a device that can track my heart rate without needing a chest band, blood pressure and blood glucose level (no more lancets!) along with the usual fitness band stuff. Since it would have bluetooth to connect to a phone, it should have no problem connecting to a headset as well, so there's your Siri interface. Be interesting to see how those connections get prioritized, I mean if I have my iPhone, an iWatch/Band, a headset and get into my car, I'd want my phone to play music through my stereo but Siri and phone calls to come through the headset. Notifications to the watch, directions there too unless there's a car display to pick them up. Living in the future just keeps getting better!

And with the headset stuff, no speaker! Seriously folks, here are cheap enough headsets and you're not Dick Tracy.

As much as I think I would like an iWatch, if it has certain features, I am not excited about having to recharge ANOTHER device every night.......So I will NOT rush to get one when it is released

what would make it killer for me is either a solar sensor or some other kinetic way to charge the battery so you don't have to plug it in at least for a little bit of charge

1: battery
2: battery
3: battery
4: battery
5: battery
Seriously. I refuse to buy a "smart" watch of any kind until the battery lasts at least a week, preferably self sustaining with the aid of solar and motion charging. I'm not into charging a watch every night or every couple of nights.

I'd like iWatch to be a wireless music iPod-killer.

So you'd have a watch on your wrist, a set of wireless EarPods in your ears and you'd go jogging. The watch would tell you the time, count your steps, keep track on your path taken, measure your heart rate and play your music.


I think the non-watch view is on the money. Though without LTE or at least WiFi the device is very limited in the notifications area. But if this were the stepping stone product that links your communications to your wrist via the iPhone, then when the battery and circuit board tech catches up this could be your next iPhone-like communication/activity device.

1) Through BT the iWrist could be the microphone/speaker for my iPhone....allowing for more hands free or almost hands free phone conversations with easy visual feedback.
2) If durable enough it could be the health/fitness thingy everyone is trying to create. iOS is a great platform for that.
3) Through voice to text and text to voice it could make texting much easier than any handheld phone as you can more quickly glance at your wrist than hold and raise a phone at the risk of dropping your donuts. Again, this might be BT functionality that is paired with your other iDevice.
4) as Rene noted, possibly a NFC tool for almost anything: buss pass, grocery, movie pass, etc.
5) Shoot a Spiderman-like web out, accurate within 50ft.
6) projected holographic display to increase screen size by a factor of 5

The most challanging things with smartwatches are design and interface, those two key elements have been a failure for all players in wearable race so far. However Apple can shine in both areas, making beautiful, stylish, futuristic, appealing device with easy and clear interface, something people will be willing to wear and use.

I actually agree with most of your points Rene. From what Android Wear shows (and what they're telling devs to do) it seems Wear will at least solve the notifications issue. (I mean, Google Now is just made for this stuff).

As for everything else...as stated above/below, I honestly feel it will be either Google or Apple to solve these. I can't wait to see the products.

Didn't Apple already have a kind of iWatch with the iPod nano 6th(?) gen. You had to buy a 3rd party strap for it but it was a start.

If it has an aways on heart rate monitor they have a customer.
Doesn't move around when running
Siri dictation with twitter

Proximity unlock phone/iPad

I love the earbud idea! I want it to have a mic like in the show Leverage

I'd love to see SpO2, which is essentially blood oxygen saturation as a percentage.

For multi-millions of folks with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) around the world, this is the most important, and least monitored, vital sign. CHF in general, and low SpO2 in particular, is the number one reason for emergency hospital visits of any kind.

Medicare and other countries' health services costs could be dramatically decreased if patients knew their own SpO2 readings and followed procedures to correct it.

It is an invaluable vital sign, and easily monitored with a little clip sensor on the finger, sort of like a clothesline clip.

Rene, I've heard you mention a few times about your friend in the medical field that leaves her phone on her desk and uses a smartwatch for notifications. How does she do this with limited range of Bluetooth?

I guess I'm not aware of an actual problem significant enough that I currently have that would be solved by a wearable. Or in other words, a solution I would pay good money for. Maybe a more convenient extension of an iPhone for those times that holding an iPhone isn't practical. But let's face it, the average person is satisfied with an iPhone as is. Well, maybe if it had a larger screen...

Are the tech (and Apple) sites in a frenzy about an iWatch because of the hunger for, as Rene put it, another iPhone class product? I fail to see the appeal behind smartwatches as they are frequently depicted. To my mind, there are two classes of use cases where they are superior to a smartphone:

1) Where involving the hand (more specifically the fingers) is slow or inconvenient

For brief notifications, this could be useful -- glancing at your forearm is a bit quicker than picking something out of your pocket. Otherwise, the smartphone is more than capable enough. This advantage seems pretty small except in the context of activities -- climbing, hiking, maybe swimming if it is waterproof and does not require a phone tether. It could be profitable, certainly, but it does just not seem like a huge market, especially if the price is > $75. Customers willing to pay a higher price for specific uses, from surgeons to warehouse managers -- might benefit more from a Google Glass type of wearable than a watch.

2) Where always having it on is a benefit.

Medical sensors are often cited as the use here, but these are problematic, too. The breathing, motion, and heart-rate sensors Rene indicates would most likely be at best on the level of your supermarket blood pressure cuff, which makes more of a luxury item for fitness buffs than for medical use. Assuming Apple surpasses the entire medical device industry and comes out with something that can take near-medically accurate readings without leads, battery life becomes the problem. A portable cardiac monitor, for example, can have a battery life ~45 days. Once the device is on, the patient can leave it on to capture events for days, without having to recharge or reconnect. Unless Apple comes out with a wireless charger that sits on a nightstand, an iWatch is going to need removal for charging every couple of days, at best. In medical situations, this is a dealbreaker, but even in non-medical situations, this limits the forget-it-always-on benefit because you have to remember to put it on each day.

Somehow, since Apple struck chords with the iPhone and iPad, people expect Apple to leap over these problems and create a product with compelling mass market use cases. Apple has never promised any such thing, but Wall Street will likely punish them for failing to meet those expectations.

There really is no appeal except to some OLD tech warrior who love Dick Tracy.
Kind of like the flying car. It will never ever happen.
Some futuristic ideas will just never pan out or make it.

People are inherently lazy. They want a grab it and go, don't have to fuss with it, ease of use device.
I to this day don't understand texting with these folks. The one BASSAkwards reck that is a hindrance than a asset in Tech society.

Those old futuristic ideas WILL and DO happen in reality though, just not the way you think they will.

The Flying Car will almost certainly happen for instance, but the main technological problem holding it back is the fact that regular people can't be expected to learn how to pilot an airplane. The Flying Car is waiting for advancements in automatic control because the "impossible part" is people all flying around in the sky without crashing into each other. As soon as aircraft are automatic, the Flying Car will be a lock.

Point #4 is probably my biggest area of concern, and I agree with the general direction Rene goes with it. I've been yawning my way through the whole iWatch pre-craze, and by now am so very sick of the very notion of some Dick Tracey style device... and I want Apple to hurry up and come out with something so all of the anti-Apple pundits will stop dictating when, how, where and how seriously Apple should do this or that otherwise it will be the beginning of yet another ending for aapl - seriously. I really don't think this thing is going to make or break Apple, but I do believe it's important, and what's important to me is that it make no pretense at being any kind of watch. Foe me, it can be almost anything, except a watch.

This is a reason why I love Apple products. They aren't the first to make something. They didn't make the first smartphone, or music player, or tablet. What they do is make it WAY better. They innovate. They sit back and take notes before the jump the gun and make a product. So if the iWatch is real, it should be something that out performs the competitors smart watch by a landslide.

For me to get back into the habit of wearing a watch again (something I stopped when I got my first smartphone) then it would have to somehow make life even easier than going to the phone.

The times I would find it easier than reaching for my phone would be when out and about, I do some hiking so then would be good.

For me to part with money it would have to be ...

1. Properly weather proof. Not too concerned that I could go diving or anything but definitely water proof for the weather.

2. GPS or able to connect to the GPS in my iPhone so I could show a compass, including my heading and current Lat and Long coordinates.

3. Notifications and Messages/Email headers

4. I'd like some kind of proximity alarm. So if I left my phone somewhere and walked away as the watch and phone fall out of a defined range (maybe 10 meters or so) the watch would buzz and let me know.

5. It would have to be stylish!!!!! I'm not really keen on the over techy look but I love the concept design by Gábor Balogh. Thats just beautiful and I'd definitely buy it if it was made workable.

You can see it here...

Pebble can do all those things, apart from maybe number 5!

1. Its waterproof (I use it in the shower and hot tub with no issues)
2. It can show a map display or direction instructions. (Which seems better than just a heading readout, but I'm sure someone could write that easily if it was wanted)
3. It does notifications on Email, SMS, Facebook etc.
4. Some watch faces include a proximity alarm (vibrate if you go out of range)
5. Well... at least the Steel is better than the first version.

I really like the flexibility and choice that an open development environment has brought to the watch.

The one thing that your list and Rene's is missing is that controlling your music from your wrist is surprisingly useful (especially in the tub, shower or car, or when on a snowboard without risking getting your iPhone wet)

The "iWatch" will solve no "problems."
It will only enable certain conveniences...it is a "convenience" device not a problem solver...a mobile phone accessory.

I can't see a use for the iWatch at the moment (for me), so I'm waiting to see exactly what it is that's announced.

Ultimately, the killer app for a smart watch is ... "phone" and that's exactly what I want out of it, but this isn't likely to happen on the first iteration. I'm sure you will be able to respond to calls with it in some way, but the "phone part" will still be in the phone and it likely won't work all by itself without a companion phone.

Most folks won't buy an iPad, an iPhone, and an iWatch though. I know I won't. So unless and until it can subsume and/or replace the phone, I probably won't have any use for it.

I currently have no problems that a wearable would solve. A larger iPhone would solve many of my current problems and the rest of them will be solved when iOS 8 comes out.

My iphone running out of battery, the iwatch could charge it using movement/solar tech.

And tracking movements of my kids would also be handy

I'm not seeing much here that would justify spending a hundred or three on one. Notifications, logging, etc should be givens.

It has to run mini versions of apple's stock apps. Email, imessage, facetime, phone app, etc. Think of it as a handoff device like the ipad or Mac will be for the iphone. I better be able to facetime on this. Watch videos. Use Apple Maps to navigate. It also has to be a device where you can initiate actions as long as the iphone is in range. It has to have music and itunes radio built in.

And well, a decent clock app (although that should be included when referring to having apple's stock apps). All optimized for the smaller watch screen. Siri is needed for input. Speaker is needed as well.

Is it doable or feasible or whatever? No clue. And that's Apple's problem. But I wouldn't even consider it otherwise.. It remains to be seen though if even all that is solving any problems or can create enough demand.

"Personally I don't use a lot of notifications."

Neither do I.
Motherf-ckers can wait for me to check my iPhone.

"Security is still too complex and too obscure."

Agree. Hoping that "iWatch" will have TouchID, and that iOS 8's TouchID API will allow developers to get rid of manual password entry entirely.

The one thing I look forward to in an iwearable is for home kit and proximity in the home with phone, computer, ATV and the wearable hopefully they will create BTLE mesh network. I don't always have my phone with me in the neighborhood, if it gets dark I would like my lights to come on as I enter my property at some point unlocking the door and relocking after entering or if on my segway the garage door will open. I realize all these things can be done with your phone, but, in the middle of the night if I get up I will not grab my phone but I would have my wearable on, my bed room lights slowly illuminate if I go to the bathroom the bathroom lights come on if I head to my bedroom door my living room, dining room and kitchen lights come on and as I return to my bedroom the lights go off. With a wearable a parent or caregiver could be notified if a child or an elderly person moves out of their assigned proximity i.e. no notification if they go to the bathroom or kitchen but if they leave the home a notification is sent, depending on the persons need it could be a simple notification or could cause an event to wake you and let you know that someone has left the house that was not supposed to. This is just a little bit of what I think the wearable could do, bringing home automation into the future. I also like the health and fitness options that are possible. But for me, home automation is the main thing I hope for.