From the newest features of the iPhone 5S to a possible cheaper and sleeker multi-coloured model being released alongside it (aptly being called the iPhone Light by fan bloggers), the buzz around Apple products never ceases. The most exciting new rumor, however, is of the iWatch and a launch into a market of wearable computing devices. Unlike anything else on the market, the iWatch will be a curved glass watch that will run on the same iOS software as the iPad and iPhone (Daily Mail Online) connecting all one’s Apple devices through Bluetooth in a convenient hands free wearable device.
Why this rumor is less of a rumor and more of a necessary strategic move on Apple’s part is because of the current competition that is moving in the same direction: the most prominent contender – Google glasses. This same iWatch glass technology sounds eerily similar to the glass screen in the Google glass design that displays the information from all of one’s computing devices directly in front of one’s right eye, including superior Google trademark tools such as weather, translation, and mapping/directions. The functionality seems to be on Google’s side here, considering one can continue to look forward and control all aspects of the device through voice command without having to push any buttons or look down at one’s wrist. The iWatch may be slightly more practical, however, for some users who would find the intruding information in their visual field disorienting. Another competitor is the Pebble watch, which connects to iPhone and Android smartphones using Bluetooth. The e-paper face resists glare and the watch-base alerts the wearer with silent vibrations to incoming calls, emails and messages (getpebble.com).
Despite the Dick Tracy/Inspector Gadget appeal such wearable devices possess, they must be as fashionable as they are functional. Indeed, perhaps the competitive edge the iWatch is going for is elegance that borders on luxury; an angle considered with their recent hire of former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve on July 2nd 2013. Hired as a vice president working on “special projects” and reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook (Bloomberg.com), such a hire can only be design oriented. Deneve is a savvy business leader with a background in fashion and technology and has managed a number of companies in his career (including Courrèges, Nina Ricci, and Lanvin). His previous work in the luxury sector affords him the experience of selling merchandise at an exorbitant price; coupled with his fashion background, he is ideal for a role in both design and marketing. Deneve is not the only employee on the roster with a fashion background though: CEO of J Crew Group Inc. Mickey Drexler is on Apple’s board and Tim Cook is a director at Nike Inc. (Bloomber.com). Fashion has in fact always been important to Apple, which is why all of their products are so aesthetically pleasing. I have no doubt that the iWatch will be a beautiful specimen of what is yet to come in the fashion-forward technological future.
- Google glasses photo by Antonio Zugaldia (colour)
- Google glasses photo (black and white) http://www.techradar.com/us/news/video/google-glass-what-you-need-to-know-1078114
- iWatch image http://www.techradar.com/us/news/portable-devices/apple-iwatch-release-date-news-and-rumours-1131043
- Pebble watch images http://getpebble.com/
- Paul Deneve image http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Deneve
- Google glass info http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-it-feels/
- iWatch info http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2332615/The-iWatch-coming-Apple-boss-says-wearable-technology-profoundly-exciting–predicts-Google-glass-FLOP.html#ixzz2YmfzJS2C
- Pebble Watch info http://getpebble.com/