Apple and Intel secretly building Bluetooth smartwatch that connects to your iOS devices, say sources

“Two sources from the ‘supply chain’ told Chinese tech blog TGbus.com (relayed by the usually reliable Netease / Tech.163) that Apple and Intel are jointly building a Bluetooth-equipped smart wristwatch that can connect to other iOS devices, most notably iPhone and iPod devices,” Robin Wauters reports for TNW. “According to the same sources, the Apple smartwatch could find its way to the market in the first half of 2013 and sport a 1.5-inch OLED display with indium tin oxide, aka ITO-coated glass, made by Taiwanese PMOLED panel manufacturer RiTdisplay.”

Wauters writes, “Think about it: a small computer – or a custom version of the iPod Nano if you will – that you can wear on your wrist, connects to your iPhone like the Nike+ Fuelband and plenty of other products can, and supports Siri voice control. It would make sense.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, if this is real, Apple needs Intel for what, exactly? Their unmatched ability to sap battery life at exponential rates? Smartwatches shouldn’t require cooling fans.

And, seriously, who under age 50 wears a watch anymore, anyway? That said, Apple could be looking at a staid industry in desperate need of revival as a suitable target for Apple innovation. Still, the Intel connection mystifies.

Take this one with many grains of salt.

44 Comments

  1. I don’t get it.

    From the start, I understood the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch concepts. I just don’t get this.

    In my world, the only thing more annoying than hearing one side of a phone conversation in public, is hearing both sides of a phone conversation in public. A speakerphone on your wrist doesn’t make sense to me.

    Moving into the reading texts, email, notifications, stock prices, weather on your wrist area … why would I want to do any of that on a 1.5″ screen? If it has to be tethered to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad – I’d rather just read those on the bigger display of the iOS device. Plus, if you want to respond to a text or email – you’d have to do it from the iOS device anyway.

    Could they be preparing to replace Nike+ on iOS devices with a new Apple service? This watch then being the fuelband type of device for that service? Is Nike+, Nike Fuel, Fitbit, Bodymedia, or Jawbone UP services really worth competing against?

    This sounds like an accessory to me.

  2. There’s a reason the wristwatch took over from the pocket watch. Taking a watch in and out of your pocket, just to check the time is a pain when you can just lift your arm then carry on. I don’t want to read tweets, or check emails, or anything like that, but simple information, like weather, or timing/distance information taken from a gps app would be great. I don’t need to be able to interact with it, but viewing stuff without having to constantly take my phone out of my pocket, and activate the screen would be great.

  3. MDN – why the persistent Intel bashing? Some of us LOVE our MacBook Airs and recognize that Apple shutdown the crazy joint PowerPC failed experiment so they could get the order of magnitude improvement in per watt performance needed to make MacBooks and later MacBook Airs. Intel is not the enemy they are a supplier for Apple. Normally you are so insightful MDN. Please check your facts on this one.

    1. Apple switched to Intel with the promise of high power, low wattage chips. And intel hasn’t really followed through.

      At this point I can see the Mac platform moving to ARM before I can see any iOS devices moving to Intel.

      1. Right you are.

        Intel does not meet the per watt performance of ARM for a user supported/wearable computer.

        On top of that, they want too much for the chips they do produce.
        Next year, 64 bit ARM Server chips, Intel will be reallyyyyyy hurting. Bye Bye high priced server chips.

  4. A watch? I dont think that the right way to look at it.
    If Apple brings something to the market, it would be an iWrist device that would also be able to tell you the time. But it won’t be a watch.
    I’m not sure what I miss today while wearing a watch even when I’m under 50, but I like to wait and see what Apple will tell me that I miss. Clearly is should be an independent device that, while connected, will use the iOS device to get and/or send information but at the same time will also have the data stored locally while not connected. (A contradiction to the iCloud concept?)
    To me, the most important functions I can imagine is reminders and alerts brought to me in a very discrete way, a little vibration on the wrist rather than a ringtone. This could be for appointments and reminders while not connected and for notification while connected.
    Further feature could be a remote for Keynote (on iPad or MacBook).

    1. um, you mean have a camera and mic/speaker to make voice/video calls, and a voice UI to send emails etc. and do other stuff?

      as to why Intel, Samsung makes the iPod chips now. ’nuff said.

  5. The ipod Nano is going to become a heck of a lot more useful. I like the idea of going to the gym, church or meetings and effortlessly checking to see missed calls and text messages on my wrist. Setting to vibrate would be fantastic on your wrist.

    1. ..and this is also where Ives and Apple’s superior interplay of aesthetics and technology would play a large role. For folks to even consider to wear, it would have to look awesome. Besides, functionality it would have to be of above average quality design, materials and construction.

  6. A few things to consider…
    -Apple needs intel for Bluetooth/Wireless related inventiveness and R&D. It’s a joint venture because Apple may not want to waste only its money in case the “watch” never becomes a product. The 4.0 spec of bTooth is under utilized and while the battery drain is better it still has a way to go
    -if Apple is designing something to wear you can believe it will be a little lavish-Brushed aluminum or a refined black coloring process like iP5. Think Movado but with an Apple touch.
    -the screen/watch face will be revolutionary, not the accessory function(s) it will bring to iOS. Anyone recall the patent Apple filed related to a touch screen that becomes hidden and looks encased until activated-it was described as “mirror like” etc…
    -the wrist band will have a simple heart-rate/pulse monitor. The clasp for the band will include either a direct lightning connector in or a USB out. There will be external sensors for temperature. It will be solar powered as well or kinetically driven-no battery.
    -The idea (as a someone already eluded to) is to keep your phone in your pocket until you feel you really need it-to actually call or send a longer email. The watch will buzz/pulse for notifications and you can quick reply from it like iOS 6 now. No one will be dictating to their wrist.
    -it can be an added security measure for personal devices. Apple will finally implement near-field ID technology where the watch will act as the key to unlock your Mac product as you so program it and then maybe Cars, turn on your lights, etc. as companies adopt a new development kit (think AirPlay but this is a new gen wireless communication protocol). The watch could be linked to the user at set up-like thumb printing. Then that person gets a unique crypto key so each responding device to the watch knows who is interacting with it.
    -Again Intel is there to help with R&D. A new protocol will emerge better than bTooth with a larger range and bigger data throughout.
    -You think Apple is designing a watch but they are going to revolutionize personal communication between man and machine 😉

    1. Good points. It could really bigger than some people imagine. Vanity + fashion + status symbol + function = $
      Well maybe.
      Can they pull lit off? Some people already say Apple’s greatest success is selling overpriced things that feed people’s egos. So this could be right up their alley.

  7. The Cuckoo Watch, a Kickstarter project which has come to fruition, already does all this, with a conventional analogue face, which is SO much easier to read than digital. I don’t understand this ‘oh, I’ve got a phone, I don’t need a watch’ thing, if I want to know the time, it’s a matter of a second or so to just glance at my wrist, and an analogue face gives me the time instantly. Unless you’re one of those terminally sad individuals who just has to carry their damned phone around in their hand all the time, it takes so much longer to put your hand in your pocket, take the phone out, turn it around, then turn it right way up, press the button to wake it up, to read the bloody time! What fuckwit thinks this is a more efficient way of telling the time?
    My automatic Seiko ‘Spork’ tells me the time all the time, including in the dark, it’s currently accurate to 17 seconds a week, and I’m getting it more accurate than that, and it doesn’t need charging, batteries replacing, etc, and it was cheaper than my iPhone.
    And it’ll outlast the phone, too.

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