Is Apple Developing a Smart Watch?

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Apple is already seeking patents to develop smart shoes and apps that could turn strangers into walking ATMs, so news that the company may be developing a smart watch should come as no surprise.

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Citing sources inside Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, a recent story in the New York Times confirmed Apple is working on a wristwatch made of curved glass. Sources were familiar with the company’s explorations, but spoke on the condition of not being named because they’re not allowed to speak publicly on unreleased products.

Two sources said that the watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform and would distinguish itself from the competition due to the company’s knowledge about the curved glass that will be used.

The Times spoke with Pete Bocko, the chief technology officer for Corning Glass Technologies. Corning manufactures the highly durable Gorilla Glass used in iPhones. Last year, the company announced it had created Willow Glass, bendable glass as floppy as a piece of paper.

“You can certainly make it wrap around a cylindrical object and that could be someone’s wrist,” Bocko told the Times. “Right now, if I tried to make something that looked like a watch, that could be done using this flexible glass.”

Still, mum’s the word over at Apple, but speculation seems to be tilting towards the more reliable side of things. As for when we could see these smart watches on wrists everywhere — that’s anybody’s guess.

“Over the long term, wearable computing is inevitable for Apple; devices are diversifying and the human body is a rich canvas for the computer,” Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst who specializes in wearable computing, told the Times. “But I’m not sure how close we are to a new piece of Apple hardware that is worn on the body.”

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I and many others are under the impression that an iWatch would essentially be a smartphone for your wrist, which would certainly bring out the James Bond in all of us, as Nick Bilton pointed out in his story for the Times. What I’m really holding out for is that putting on an iWatch would be similar to cuffing yourself with one of those snap bracelets that were popular back in the 1980s.

If you’re jonesin’ for what an iWatch might look like, check out Mashable‘s gallery of hypothetical design concepts here.

via the New York Times

Credit: Yrving Torrealba

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