Is iWatch the shape of things to come?
By Adarsh Matham
24th February 2013 12:00 AM
As a race, Homo sapiens got by for thousand of years with no or very little technology. While we made a little progress in the last four to five hundred years, it is only in the last hundred years that we really figured out the technology game. Once transistors came into existence, Moore’s law, which states that the number of transistors on a chip would double every eighteen months, kicked in and here we are staring into pieces of powerful glass which would have looked like a miracle just 20 years ago. If technology were to advance at the same pace, which it surely would, the most logical place we would find ourselves in 40, 50 years would constitute of a seamless mixture of the human body and electronics. Chips in head and as such. But before that happens, we have to pass an important milestone. That of wearing electronics on our person.
Wearable tech has been around for a while now. Probably the best example would be a watch which has been around for a couple of centuries. And then we have wearable fitness trackers like Nike+ fuel band, smart watches like the Pebble smart watch. And we know that Google has been working on what it calls Google Glass which we are supposed to wear on our heads. Whatever form it takes, today's wearable tech is very similar to MP3 players, smart phones and tablet computers before the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad stuck. They are around; everyone knows they are around, but it took an iDevice to take them mainstream. If recent rumours are to come true and if Apple is working on an iWatch, the big question is, will it finally take wearable tech mainstream?
But an even bigger question is, if there is going to be a watch from Apple at all. Following the authorised biography of Steve Jobs, the whole of last year we have been hearing rumours that Apple will bring out a brand new TV. Come new year, august papers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are queuing up to report rumours of an impending ‘watch like device’. Seasoned Apple watchers are figuring out that the controlled leaks and rumours are, in fact, signs that Apple is indeed working on such a device.
It even makes sense for Apple to work on such a device. With the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad, Apple has built up a great eco system into which the iWatch will fit right in. Making a smart watch that is acceptable to millions of people requires feats of design and miniaturisation of components that can only be pulled off by Apple. Add the hype of a new product from Apple, the millions of loyal fans, and you have a product that is known to half the world on the day of launch.
Just the publicity from the launch of the watch would do wonders to the wearable tech market. The millions of iOS developers will think up new and exciting new uses for the watch. More importantly other tech companies will sit down and take note, and will try to come up with their own better alternatives. All of this could theoretically be achieved by Google Glass. But the biggest problem there is the level of societal acceptance for a device that you will wear on your face outside of geek circles. By starting with a device that is discreet and that we all are already comfortable with, Apple could be doing wearable tech, themselves and us a big favour.
The writer is a tech geek.
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