The speculation is that Apple is designing a new iWatch that connects to iPhones, relays messages, and displays status alerts. But would the company that reinvented the computer, the phone, and the way we consume media be aiming so low?
Ever since the iPod Nano was slightly less Nano’d just a few months ago, there’s been increased speculation about an iWatch to replace it. Now there’s chatter about a new device — an iWatch, perhaps — from Apple for specifically that purpose.
Nano is Apple’s smallest iPod with a screen, bigger than only the Shuffle, and the sixth generation has been used extensively as a watch with the simple addition of a wristband. At 1.55-inches square, the Nano was perhaps a little awkward but an excellent beginning — and perhaps a precursor — to the Pebble smart watch.
That’s no longer an option with the seventh generation iPod Touch, which sports a 2.5-inch multitouch screen and a longer, rectangular body.
The speculation is that Apple will be releasing a product in the next six months, possibly with an Intel chip, that communicates with your smartphone via Bluetooth. If so, it needs to be much more than a watch, and much more than a way to communicate with the device that is already just a few inches away in your pocket.
In other words, it needs to be a personal quantification device for the masses.
There are currently 505 tools listed in the Guide to Self-Tracking Tools on Quantified Self. Jawbone’s UP, Fitbit’s err bit, Nike’s FuelBand, the Basis Band, the Zeo “personal sleep coach,” the Stresswatch, the Adidas miCoach and dozens more are devices built to measure, track, and encourage you to modify fitness activities.
This is more than a fad — it’s a movement. And while smartphones like Apple’s iPhone are often components of these systems, they’re just one component in an ecosystem that includes sensors, apps, online social experiences, and analytics. Apple could be so much more, if it wanted to play in this market.
As The Next Web mentions, 2013 could be the year when wearable computing leaves the geek and enthusiast community. And isn’t popularizing and improving emerging technologies what Apple does best?
The iWatch is just a rumor right now, but I’m hoping it’s more … much more.