June 20, 2013, 4:28 PM — Intel's Chief Technology Officer has disclosed that the company is working on several "experimental" devices, one of which is a smartwatch. However, don't go putting it on your Christmas wishlist just yet.
Justin Rattner dropped the hint at Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing conference in Half Moon Bay earlier this week. “Actually, we’re looking at novel display devices. The watch is kind of — if you want to put the time on it, that’s fine. But if you’re talking about texting today, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just look at your wrist?” he's quoted as saying by Venturebeat.
Intel wouldn't be alone in this field, of course. Apple has been rumored for some time to be working on a watch-like device, as are Samsung and Acer. It's fascinating to see watches become a hot market when the traditional watch is dead. After all, it's a single-use device.
It's not just the giants that are working on smartwatches. A company called Pebble raised over $10 million thanks to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter and sold out 85,000 preorders at a price of $150 each. In addition to telling time, the watch can take incoming calls, emails, and calendar entries through a connection to your smartphone.
The company has since secured another $15 million from financing from Charles River Ventures and opened up a software development kit so developers could begin building apps. Pebble is, as you would have guessed, Android-based.
Apple's rumored iWatch is – according to rumor—supposed to run a stripped down version of iOS and feature a screen made from Corning's flexible Willow Glass. A December rumor in the Wall Street Journal placed the device at 1.5 inches and using Siri functionality. Since then, all has been quiet.
And don't get too excited over an Intel smartwatch. Rattner's job is to look way down the road and focus on ideas that are five, ten, 15 years out. He makes demos ever year to close out the Intel Developer Forum that are pretty nifty but few have made it out of the labs, like wireless electricity. This is a long-term project for him and unlikely to see daylight any time soon.