In the struggle to create a smart wearable device, we really warped the meaning of “watch” didn’t we? Pocket watches seem to have been completely forgotten. It’s a good thing we’ve got the guys at Bucardo designing dapper looking smart watch accessories that allow these ‘wearables’ to adorn more than our wrist.
There’s no shortage of fan-made Apple product concepts. The Apple Watch has seen its fair share of makeovers too. Adrian Berr however, wants to make the Apple Watch less of a watch, and more of a universal remote. The timepiece is something that’s always near you, and it isn’t something you’re likely to lose/break/forget, like your phone. The result is a small but powerful device that can be used as a wristwatch, or even as a small device to rule your smart-life. Plus, doesn’t it sort of remind you of Click?
As the Apple Watch gears up for release, Apple is revealed to have cut the healthcare features from the device, although they were considered a selling point.
Back in September, 2014 Apple announced three products: the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch. Whilst their two flagship iPhones got off to a flying start (they quickly became the fastest selling iPhones of all time), people were rather sceptical about Apple’s wearable device. Pegged for a launch in ‘early 2015′ many feared that the Apple Watch is simply a gimmick and that there wasn’t enough time to fix it.
The scepticism stemmed from the fact the device’s two selling points were its ‘digital dial’ which allowed people to zoom in and out of the screen without touching the screen itself (and therefore obscuring the view) and apps such as an arm-wrestling game. Given that prices of the Apple Watch start at $350, they were perhaps right to believe that few people would want to buy it just for those features.
It has now been revealed, however, that that’s not the only reason why many were left felling disappointed. According to the Wall Street Journal, health sensors that originally featured in early versions of the Apple Watch were cut not long before the reveal, which is perhaps why the device looked so unappealing back in September.
In their report, the publication explains that some of these potential features were as complex as a sensor that could track stress or even blood pressure. In theory, those things are massively useful as they would help people make sure that they are living healthy lives and it would let them know when they need to see a doctor or simply just relax. The problem with the sensors is that some offered varied results that differed based on things such as the hairiness of the wearer’s arm or how tight the band on the Apple Watch was. Furthermore, some of those features would also result in government regulation which Apple wanted to avoid.
But even with the removal of these features, it doesn’t mean that the Apple Watch is destined for sales failure. The device has been gutted of a key selling point, true, but Apple still believes that it will sell incredibly well and the company has prepared around 6 million units in preparation. The Apple Watch is likely to launch in March or April so we’ll be able to see just how accurate Apple’s prediction was shortly after.
New reports around the web suggest that, if used “actively”, the Apple Watch’s (or iWatch) battery would only last between 2 and 5 hours.
A new report from the Mac-centric website 9 to 5 mac claims Apple’s new smartwatch would have a rather short battery life, which would last only a couple of hours if used “actively”. This is because of the A5 processor it uses summed to the Retina screen, both responsible for the watch’s smooth performance. If it was used in mixed mode instead (combining both passive and active), the battery life could go up to 19 horas or even go up to three days in stand by.
9 to 5 Mac claims the Cupertino guys conducted several stress tests and weren’t really happy with the results. By giving it intense use (say, playing games), the battery would be drained in mere two hours and a half, while running apps instead would make it last for three and half hours. Even with only the screen being on all the time, battery life seems to be exceedingly short.
These results are particularly worrying for Apple if we were to compare these with those of the competition. The Moto 360, for example, can work for some 24 hours in mixed mode while the Samsung Gear S can go on for an entire day. The Peblle Smartwatch, although an entirely different beast, can be used for a week without recharging, even.
Apple have not sent any communications about these issues yet, but they trust the iWatch will be used passively and this won’t impact user experience. The Cupertino team are aiming for some 19 hours in mixed mode, but they already know battery life will be rather short, and least in this first generation. Would we be safer if we waited for the obvious iWatch 2 instead?
Apple Watch was expected to be launched under a different name, but it looks like the Cupertino company was forced by circumstances to give up on the iWatch name. Still, it looks like a smartwatch using this name will be launched soon.
The iWatch could never have been an Apple product, as this name is trademarked in Europe, and doing so would have inevitably resulted in lawsuits and many millions of dollars in damages. Because of this, Apple took the safe route and used a very generic name for their wearable, while renouncing on their dream to use the i on each of their products.
Daniele Di Salvo, CEO of Probendi, is a 50-year-old Italian entrepreneur whose Dublin-based software development studio holds the trademark for the iWatch name for computing devices and software since August 3, 2008. Pictured above is a concept for the iWatch Sport, which should be launched sometime in the future, even though some people are skeptical and call this vaporware. There is also an app made by Probendi that is called iWatch. Police in Vercelli, a small town in northern Italy are said to use it for sending mugshots to their HQ, fact that makes you think that Di Salvo might just be a patent troll.
Di Salvo pointed out that “We have been contacted by some very important manufacturers in China about the possibility of manufacturing a smartwatch and selling them with the name iWatch. Discussions are still ongoing. We are good at software but hardware is definitely not our business but we are evaluating this request.”
According to Bloomberg, Profendi’s iWatch will have a smaller price than the Apple Watch. It will only come with a square touchscreen, GPS and accelerometer, which explains why the iWatch will be cheaper. After all, at $349, Apple Watch is among the most expensive smartwatches currently available. Ironically enough, the iWatch will run Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat, so this must be one of Apple’s worst nightmares.
I’m pretty sure that unaware that the iWatch isn’t in fact an Apple product, many of the company’s fanboys will jump to buy it. Assuming that Probendi will go with the design pictured above (which is actually highly improbable), that may be the wearable’s main selling point. Other than that, it will feature functions found in any other smartwatch.
Apple today revealed it’s long-anticipated entry into the wearable tech space, with its first ever smartwatch. No longer dubbed “iWatch,” the timepiece is named simply “Apple Watch“. The watch is designed to be the most accurate watch available, incredibly customizable, and work seamlessly with iPhone, health and fitness apps.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Apple watch is its striking industrial design. While Apple chose to go with a rectangular face, the watch has curvaceous surfaces, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal front which appears to blend seamlessly into the metal case of the watch. It’s also not big and clunky like some other smartwatches on the market. It actually looks like it’s the size of a normal watch. Its touchscreen is unique in that it not only detects touches, but can detect pressure, so it can differentiate between a tap and a press.
The watch offers a totally new user interface, not a tiny version of iOS. Apple worked hard to create a unique UI which is ideally suited to the tiny screen of a watch, and in large part I think they’ve succeeded. Instead of supporting gestures like pinch-zoom on its touchscreen, the watch uses its “digital crown” control on the side to provide contextual input methods such as zooming in and out, adjusting sliders, or scrolling up and down. This means you won’t be blocking the interface with your fingertip nearly as often as with other smartwatches. A simple push of the crown returns you to the home screen.
Speaking of the home screen, it features a sort of cloud of apps which you can tap to access. At the center is the watch function, of course, and if you have more apps installed than will fit on one screen you can drag to view apps beyond the screen’s boundaries. There’s also a UI convention called “glances,” which give you quick access to information, like current weather, your next appointment, music and media remote control.
Simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen to view your glances. The watch is also smart enough to only turn on when you turn your wrist and raise it to view the display, which should reduce battery drain.
In terms of features, the Apple Watch seems jam-packed for such a tiny device. Naturally, it’s a watch, and syncs its time up to the National Atomic clock to ensure accuracy within +/- 50 milliseconds. It comes pre-loaded with numerous watch faces, ranging from analog, to digital, to informational, to decorative. I especially like the astronomy face, which shows current positions of planets, a sort of nod to analog watches with these sort of complications.
The watch also packs a haptic feedback system, called the “Taptic Engine”, which combines tiny vibrations with sound from the speaker to provide feedback from the watch. This is especially useful for notifications, as it can provide silent taps as well. Speaking of notifications, the prompts which appear on screen are contextual, based on the type of notification, offering quick replies for messages, and let you choose from text, voice, or animated emoji responses.
Naturally, Siri is built in, and accessed by pressing in on the digital crown for a little longer. While the screen might be small, Siri provides quite a bit of functionality, returning detailed results such as movie times, descriptions and GPS directions. Other primary apps include weather, traffic, photo browsing, and of course health and fitness. The Maps app is particularly neat, offering turn-by-turn directions and unique haptic sensations to indicate which way to turn. The phone also offers support for Apple Pay, their newly-announced NFC-based payment system.
Using the built-in accelerometer and paired with the GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities of the iPhone, the watch can track activities such as walking, running, cycling, or more. It can also track calories burned, and even the time you spend standing each day. The Zirconia watch back contains infrared LEDs and cameras to accurately monitor your heart rate.
The health and fitness apps encourage goal-setting and can help you on track on a daily basis. Data captured by the watch is automatically synced with iOS 8’s health and fitness apps, providing long-term tracking and charting as well as access for other related apps.
Another feature of the Apple Watch is something called “Digital Touch.” This allows you to have one-on-one conversations with friends, sending haptic touches by tapping on the screen, real-time doodles, or even sending your heartbeat. Okay, that’s just plain weird. Apple is calling this a revolutionary new way to communicate, though it seems a little gimmicky to me. Who knows. I probably thought email and text messaging was gimmicky once.
Beyond the built-in apps, the Apple Watch will support 3rd-party apps, and Apple will soon be providing their WatchKit SDK to developers to start building apps. Examples of 3rd-party apps shown so far include BMW’s electric car charging status app, which also offers GPS directions back to your car, as well as a Honeywell app for setting your home climate control system remotely.
While Apple hasn’t said anything about battery life, they did recognize that people will want to wear the watch all day long, and are offering an easy charging method, which combines a quick MagSafe-style connector with wireless charging. This should make lazy bedside charging stupid simple.
Apple will be offering its watch in a number of different configurations, including the Apple Watch, which has a stainless steel case, the Apple Watch Sport, with a lightweight anodized aluminum case, and the Apple Watch Edition, a schmancy 18-karat gold model. There’s no word yet on water or shock resistance, but I can’t imagine that Apple hasn’t given this some thought.
You’ll be able to choose from 38mm or 42mm case size. There will also be a wide variety of bands available, including a durable sport band, a modern leather loop band, traditional look leather and stainless steel link bands, as well as a stainless steel mesh band. The more contemporary bands use a magnetic closure, which not only looks cool, but provides easy adjustability. Personally, the design below is my favorite:
One thing to keep in mind is that Apple says the Apple Watch will require the use of an iPhone 5 or later. It’s unclear if your iPhone must be in proximity at all times, or if some features will continue to work if your iPhone isn’t close by. Apple hasn’t revealed full pricing or release date details on the Apple Watch line as of yet, but says that prices will “start at $349″ and the watch will be available in “Early 2015.”
Apple Incorporated will be utilizing NFC and tokenization technology for its iPhones and iWatches. Apple has always taken a keen interest in tokenization as a method of payment.There are even patents...
What is the iWatch all about? It’s a little about being a wearable device, time teller, sci-fi and magic. Perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves here, but since we are into the home stretch and the iPhone 6 will be soon announced. It’s only fitting that we feature this beauty envisioned by Benjamin Schuster.
For a gadget that tells time, the exact release of Apple’s rumored iWatch are still a mystery! Until then, get your fanboy fix with this concept by Francisco Costa, because it’s probably not far off from the real thing. The designer has not only mastered the Cupertino company’s signature minimalistic style but also the ingenious marketing that goes along with it. So, for a sneak peak at the clever commercials to come and a really good guess at the iWatch hit the jump! You’ll do a double-take to make sure it’s not the real deal!