It’s hard not to get swept up in real Apple rumor-mongering. I’m not talking about the supply chain circle-jerks designed to manipulate Apple’s stock price or the brain-dead insistance that Apple needs to make a television, but honest-to-goodness, sensible product niches that would benefit from Apple’s magic. So here I am – adding another voice to the punditry echo chamber. If Apple does choose to move from the pocket to the wrist, there’s some parameters that the product to have to stay within. I don’t have Gruber’s “little birdies”, so my thoughts are just common sense combined with amplifications of Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini’s blog post, which essentially started this whole hysteria despite the lack of credit from the mainstream tech vomitories.
Unlike all of Apple’s other personal consumer electronics like the iPod and iPhone, the iWatch needs to conform to the dimensions of its users’ anatomy. As a slightly burly dude, my wrist measures about 2 7/8″ wide as a 2-dimensional plane (or “tall” if your thinking about watch height).
Several females I accosted on the street My wife’s wrist comes in at almost an inch slimmer. This fact of human anatomy lends itself to 2 different product scenarios: either a one-size device that hits the fat of the physiological bell curve, or more than one size option. I think the range of all devices has to fall within 2 – 2 1/2″ tall and no more than an 1 3/4″ wide. I’ll let the pixel nerds debate what kind of resolution makes the most sense. If my read of Apple is right, the company isn’t going to foist some chunktacular monstrosity into the market like some of the renderings I’ve been seeing. The screen will obviously be curved to fit the contour of the wrist.
If I had to point to a thing that made Tog’s post so compelling, it would be his explanation of what the iWatch shouldn’t be. The battery will only be as big as the dimensions of the device, so even with a wireless charging feature, which I expect in some iteration, Android device-level bells and whistles ain’t happening. This device will be all about one wireless connection: Bluetooth 4.0. No 4G LTE, no WiFi. And no, the watch band will not pack battery cells into it, regardless of the wishes of would-be Apple designers. The watch will be a companion device that off-loads the heavy lifting to its Bluetooth companion – be it iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Mac. The sheer dominance of Apple’s mobile offerings will make it possible to scale back redundant battery-sucking functions to the bare minimum. Microphone yes; video camera no. I don’t see the addition of a mic to achieve a “Dick Tracey”phone/watch being of particular value, but it will be required for Siri integration, and Siri will be the cornerstone of the watch’s functionality.
Those are the basics. As you can see in Tog’s post, and in some of the comments, the possibilities are almost limitless: fitness tracker, geo-locator, password fob, payment fob and home automation control, just to name a few. If realized, this would be Apple’s Next Big Thing, the first since the iPad. Get ready for another paradigm to bite the dust.