Home
Few experts seem to think Apple has another megahit product ahead of them. But I think the iWatch might be bigger than anyone imagines. You should keep in mind that I'm the oracle who predicted that no one would want an iPad. I repeated that prediction with the oversized phones from Samsung - the so-called phablets - and those are flying off the shelf too. So we know I suck at predicting consumer demand for gadgets. And while you might think I would be too embarrassed to make another prediction about consumer electronics, apparently I don't feel shame like normal people.

So let's get to it.

I've been holding off on buying a normal watch for the past several months because I'm fairly certain I'll get an iWatch if it ever hits the market. And when it does, ordinary watches will start to look the way flip-phones looked six months after the iPhone was announced. You're probably thinking an iWatch would be too geeky for any fashion-conscious consumer. But I think your old-timey standard watch will look like a butter churn in a few months. Fashion will require you to get an iWatch.

I see the iWatch as the next phase in our evolution to full cyborg status. I want my Google glasses, iWatch, smartphone, and anything else you want to attach to my body. Frankly, I'm tired of being nothing but a skin-bag full of decaying organs. I want to be the machine I was always meant to be. That prospect excites me.

But what excites me most about the iWatch is all the potential apps. Let's assume that the iWatch will be connected to your phone by Bluetooth. And let's assume the watch can measure movement. If you wave your arm in a figure eight, the phone senses it.

I'm also assuming the watch has a camera or two. I'd like one camera on the underside facing forward and one on the top facing forward, sort of where a wind-up stem would be on a standard watch. If you want to take a picture, just point your arm toward the scene and snap your fingers to operate the camera.

You'd also be able to control your environment with hand motions, like an orchestra conductor. Control the lights by pointing your arm toward the fixture and giving, let's say, the thumbs-up motion.

Likewise you can control everything from the television to video games to your heating and cooling just by hand motions, as if using magic. You would walk through your home like a wizard, with all of your electronics responding to your arm motions.

Your hand would also act like a computer mouse. Just move your fingers over the desktop to move the cursor on screen.

To make a phone call, just put your hand in the "call me" position as if holding a fake phone to your ear.

If you walk too far from your smartphone, the watch gives you a quiet alarm. That way you never leave without your phone.

If you want to wake up without bothering your spouse, the watch could have an alarm vibrator built in.

If you can't find your phone in the house, the watch would sense its direction and show an arrow on screen. Just follow the arrow to your phone's general direction. Ask the iWatch to find your phone and it sends a signal to the phone to make a continuous beep until found.

The watch could have sensors on the underside to monitor blood sugar, heart rate, and oxygen levels.

When I'm working in the kitchen, I often want to see an incoming message but I don't want to dry my hands. The iWatch would let me see messages even with wet hands.

When I want to add something to my to-do list, I can use my smartphone, but I generally don't because that means fishing it out of my pocket, and frankly that takes longer than I can hold most thoughts. But I would speak a to-do note into my iWatch just because it would be so accessible.

Imagine an app that lets you find compatible mates in public places. You fill out a dating questionnaire and your watch glows a certain color when someone compatible and available is in your public space. There are already a number of apps like that for your phone. The watch would add a level of fun because your friends could see your watch glowing too and be part of the fun.

Your watch could act like an emergency backup battery for your phone. Just plug a power cord between phone and iWatch and keep texting.

I would say my family misses 75% of all incoming phone calls even when our phones are nearby because they tend to be on vibrate. I even miss calls when my phone is in my pocket. The iWatch would be a huge improvement in not missing calls. I would buy the iWatch for that one feature.

Okay, that's my wish list. What apps would you want in an iWatch?

 
Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +39
  • Print
  • Share

Comments

Sort By:
Apr 23, 2013
"...when it does, ordinary watches will start to look the way flip-phones looked six months after the iPhone was announced."

I hate to break this to you...but watches have looked like relics of the past for almost 2 full decades now. Since cellphones became something that you always had on you, another time piece has been redundant. I don't know a single person under 35 who routinely wears a watch...
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
Interesting, umm, applications spring to mind with a wrist-mounted computer with motion sensors...
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
There are already battery problems with smart phones, most don't last more than 18-24 hrs between charges with all of the apps running on them. Now you want to add more apps and reduce the size to something you can wear on your wrist? Unless it was powered kinetically it would not last more than an hour, much less be able to power your current smartphone in an emergency. You would need a battery pack on your belt that it could charge from, but that is just adding a level of inconveneince that would make it unappealing to the majority.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
Think how many times you've misplaced your smartphone. The ideal iWatch would fit like a permanent bangle around your wrist, welded into place by the government. Then you wouldn't have to worry about leaving your phone in a restaurant -- it would always be securely in place, and impervious to pickpockets.

It would be an ideal platform for making purchases, because ownership would be guaranteed. Any sawn-off iWatch would immediately send a GPS beacon to Homeland Security so they could swoop in and capture the would-be thief.

Now say a bad guy cuts off your hand and uses the iWatch to buy several tons of ammonium nitrate. Not to worry, Homeland Security would detect the purchase in milliseconds (or detect the chemical signature), and a drone would take care of the rest.

If, God forbid, a citizen had no hands and could not wear an iWatch (or they had already been attacked twice by bad guys) then there's the iChoker option. Advantages of the iChoker would be better angles for the always-on cameras, and plus would take much longer for a bad guy to cut off your head, so it would be extra secure.

 
 
Apr 23, 2013
@RayKramer

[I'm told people use their cell phones to check the time these days and don't even bother wearing a watch.]

Thats what I do.

Yes, I know, Ive said before I dont have a cell phone. iPhone, iPod, same thing.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
I'm told people use their cell phones to check the time these days and don't even bother wearing a watch.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
Dick Tracey was way ahead of his time.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
All you really need is an iPhone in a different form factor. If you've ever watched football, you've seen the small sleeve/gauntlets that the quarterback wears. Fit the phone into that form factor and you've eliminated any current size constraints.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
!$%*!$%*!$%* will have about a 2-3 year window before Google Glasses type devices take over with superior functionality, ease of use and convenience. I think a larger hurdle than the technical challenges to Google Glasses, namely, ease of input, will be to make them fashionable. Google better hire an Italian (stereotype yes), because in the development model, the current "nerd" design isn't going to work on a widespread level.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
"Frankly, I'm tired of being nothing but a skin-bag full of decaying organs. I want to be the machine I was always meant to be. That prospect excites me."


Does that comment not sound exactly like something Brother Cavil would say?
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 23, 2013
I miss 75% of incoming calls because that's about the percentage of the time I don't want to talk to anyone.

I'd like to have an intelligent call screener (on a watch or otherwise) that automatically sends calls from people I don't know to voicemail - and then lets me choose which of the remaining numbers ring through - at what hours of the day. Since my voicemail is already translated to text and forwarded as an e-mail - I still see urgent messages. That would probably increase the number of calls I actually answer - since my default assumption is that the call is from Rachael from Card Holder Services.

Since it's a watch, I think it should be in charge of the calendar. If it knows I have a meeting 30 minutes away, it should start sending increasingly urgent reminders about 45 minutes out - because it will have already learned how much I underestimate the time it takes to actually get out of the house.

I'm not interesting in finding a backup mate. I'm fine with the current model - even if he could use a serious technology upgrade. However, I wouldn't mind having an app that points out locations of other people who keep bees and dairy goats in their backyards. We aren't as easy to find as you might think.
 
 
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 23, 2013
I'm amused by all of the speculation about whether Apple is making an iWatch and what it might do -- I already have one on my wrist. http://getpebble.com/

The Pebble connects to my phone, shows caller ID, text messages, and emails. It vibrates when something happens. It has an accelerometer to measure movement. Basically, the Pebble already does most of what you describe, and you don't have to wait for Apple to get their !$%* together.

Oh, and it does a good job of telling time.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
I want to view my home surveillance camera on my watch. And control my TV. And check to see if my garage door is still open when I go to bed - and close it if necessary.

Your watch might have trouble sensing the direction to your phone, but it should be able to glow hotter and colder as you move around near your phone. I'd be happy with that.

I'm not sure I like the idea of putting a camera where the stem would be. First - I think you'll still need a button or two and putting the button there is a natural fit. Second - There is the very real prospect of accidentally tweeting a pic while using the urinal, and nobody wants to see that. Putting a camera on top is more than sufficient to let you Skype with your watch.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
Most of the apps you mention could be done with a slightly modified iPhone (you may protest that you cant use your iPhone to find your iPhone, but if you're using one gadget to find another gadget why cant the 'finding' gadget be another iPhone?) and those that couldnt can be done with a wireless mouse, and I would prefer the wireless mouse because it has buttons on it. Granted an iWatch would be smaller but I dont like things strapped to my wrist anyway. Also Im reminded here of an old Dilbert comic where Dilbert is browsing the internet one character at a time using a ring. The point here is even with the very latest in miniature electronics there will be a limit on what you can/will want to do with something as small as a watch.

I dont own a watch now and think Ill pass on the iWatch.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
Scott - I actually think you're right on this time. "phones" are becoming increasingly powerful general purpose computers, with no sign of slowing down. But having it buried in your pocket is an incredible annoyance. A watch that gives you an always-accessible GUI opens up a world of new apps. A watch with sensors for motion, and body-status increases the apps exponentially, and if the phone can't do your idea today, wait 6 months. It's like the PC revolution all over again. I hope someone other than Apple is working on this so there's an open platform.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 23, 2013
This isn't an iwatch, but i bet it is a lot better priced... and it will tell you who is calling and vibrate when your phone rings.

http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?pid=204445805&c=
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
Why do you still need a phone in your pocket - Why not have it all in the watch? Would love to get those radio waves a few more feet away from my privates.

Just have the watch, with the ability to insert the watch into the back of a "dumb" tablet if you want a bigger interface. Then you just have one device with all the memory in it, and one cellular bill.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
Apple already invented the iWatch. It was the older model iPod Nano. (6th generation) Companies made watch straps for it. People made dozens of watch-face designs. People made useful apps for it.

But Apple changed the Nano design, so it became useless as a watch.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
>You'd also be able to control your environment with hand motions, like an orchestra conductor.

I have a couple of Italian friends that could cause serious problems with this kind of gadget. The standard arm and hand movements they use telling stories could cause city-wide blackouts.
 
 
Apr 23, 2013
What apps would you want in an iWatch?
Ummm - telling the time?
 
 
 
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog