This week Bloomberg, Pando Daily, Digital Trends and The Verge discussed the likely release of the Apple Smartwatch sometime in 2013. The Smartwatch will likely be running on iOS, and Apple hopes the watch will be able to withstand up to four days of use without charging. To see what the Smartwatch will look like, just click on some of those article links—and then ask yourself if you can imagine wearing one of these Smartwatches in this era of watch-wearing decline.
To be sure, the Smartwatch will be smart. There are reportedly 100 engineers on the project working to ensure the watch will be able to sync with various Apple products including iPhones, monitor your health vitals, let you call in case you're not already glued to a smart phone, and feature GPS. If the number of patent applications Apple has filed is any indication—79 thus far including the word “wrist”—the Smartwatch should have some remarkably innovative features, including a kinetically-powered flexible screen.
Battery life bugs are still being worked out which is why there was no simple jump from Nano to Smartwatch. And of course iOS is giving the team its share of grief. There seems little doubt, though, that these mishaps can be cleared in time for a technically viable product release in 2013.
But will being the smartest guy in the room get you all of the dates?
People who still wear watches do so for fashion, as accessories. This Smartwatch is almost never going to be the “right look” for anything. Bloomberg argues that the global watch industry enjoys a margin of 60% on watches which are projected to gross more than $60 billion in sales in 2013—very healthy on the surface. However, the luxury watch segment of the market (watches priced $1,000 and above) accounts for the largest amount of that $60 billion by far, indicating that watches remain a luxury and fashion purchase for most.
Apple has always managed to mix form and function well enough to come out on top, but will this be enough for San Francisco? In summer 2012 Apple fell short of San Francisco city standards for earth-friendly manufacturing procedures for their computers. The outcry from San Francisco was deafening, and before long Apple backtracked and complied with EPEAT, the standards in question. The relationship seems strong enough, but will the look make it? Check out the prototypes using the links and decide.