The iWatch: Your next must-have Apple product?

Dramatization: not the actual iWatch

Source: rreis, Apple

I suppose once the Pebble "E-paper Watch" Kickstarter project hit $10 million in pledges after asking for only $100,000 it became inevitable that someone else would want to jump into this space, and according to Bloomberg, that someone else is Apple.

Assuming the rumor mill has it right, Apple's iWatch will run iOS and allow you to make calls, see where you are (via a maps app), track the number of steps you've taken and monitor things like your heart-rate. Not mentioned but assumed: it'll tell time as well.

At first glance the idea of an iWatch just seems silly; aren't all the Apple fans already carrying an iPhone? But when you start working the fitness stuff in it makes a little more sense; here's a device that combines an iPod Nano, a Fitbit and an iPhone all into a device that straps onto your wrist.

Bloomberg says Apple has a team of 100 engineers working on this device and says that "Apple design chief Jony Ive has long had an interest in watches."

The Verge covered this story as well and added to it with info from their own secret sources. They say one thing the team is struggling with is battery life. Apple wants the iWatch to run 4-5 days between charges but thus far that's proving to be a challenge. I suppose we're so used to plugging in our phones for a charge that plugging in our watch too won't be much of an adjustment.

Bloomberg loses me when they suggest that people might buy several iWatches to wear to different events:

The buying public may opt for different types of timepieces, depending on the occasion -- for instance, a high-priced Swiss watch for a black-tie affair, or a sports-oriented smart watch on weekends.

I've certainly been wrong before and I probably shouldn't bet against the devotion of Apple fans but (assuming an iWatch would cost a few hundred dollars — it'd have to cost as much as an iPod Touch, right?) I find it hard to imagine many consumers would own a selection of these things.

I find the entire notion of an iWatch kind of boring, but I may be the wrong person to cover this story; I haven't owned a watch in years. I just use my phone as my watch. And the Pebble success story certainly illustrates some kind of demand for a smart-watch. So are you excited about the possibility of an iWatch running iOS? Will Google fire back with an Android watch? Are watches going to be the next big thing? Seems far-fetched to me, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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