How Apple's iWatch May Herald A New Era Of Wearable Technology

14 February 2013, 9:27 am EST By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

A slew of reports invaded the U.S. this week, nearly confirming that Apple is prepping an iWatch to boost a new market.

While the details of the purported smart watch are sketchy for now, rumored features include a curved touch screen display from a new type of flexible glass, a range of sensors to keep track of exercise patterns and heart rate, access to maps, "wave and play" functionality, voice control and wireless integration with the iPhone and more. The wearer would be able to take calls or read messages without having to reach for a phone, or the iPhone could detect when it's in the owner's hand and automatically unlock.

The Cupertino giant reportedly hired an army of 100 product designers to work on this project, which suggests the rumored iWatch is heading toward production already. Foxconn, the Apple partner that assembles iPhones and iPads, is reportedly in talks with Apple about the device, while also working with component suppliers to deliver efficient microchips and displays.

Smart watches are not something utterly new and never seen before, but if someone can boost the market, it's surely Apple. After all, smartphones and tablets already existed before Apple entered the market, but they were mostly niche products. Once Apple stepped in, it all changed. For a good while, smartphones were almost synonymous with the iPhone. Apple even introduced a new trend of talking to the phone like it's a person when it launched Siri. All things considered, an Apple iWatch may well herald the era of wearable technology.

First of all, Apple's brand is easily recognized anywhere, and almost everybody has heard of it. Second, the company has its own ecosystem and retail channel, and it has proved over time that it can launch a product like no one else can. Apple has always redefined standards and opened new venues for innovation. Where there's Apple, there's usually a great market waiting to be tapped.

The technology may already exist, but Apple has its own way of configuring, customizing and redefining things in a unique manner that draws consumers like bears to honey. Where others create products with great potential but fail to seize mainstream attention, Apple usually hits the jackpot.

Smart watches and wearable technology are in no way exclusively Apple ideas. Nike FuelBand, FitBit, the Pebble smart watch and all sorts of similar devices are already available on the market and link to the iPhone, but Apple has what it takes to turn an option into a must-have. Plus, let's face it: countless consumers would pay extra even for a toilet paper roll if it's the Apple brand. 

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