Why Apple is working on ‘iWatch,’ not ‘iGlasses’

“Why an iWatch and not iGlasses?” Nick Bilton asks for The New York Times. “In my column on Monday I reported that Apple was experimenting with a computer that could wrap around a person’s wrist. Some readers asked why the company, which is clearly experimenting with wearable computing, wouldn’t just make a pair of augmented-reality glasses instead?”

“The best way to answer that question is to look at the company’s Trackpad,” Bilton explains. “At first the mouse pad was given multitouch, then the large button was made slimmer, then the button went away, but the entire mouse pad became clickable. Today, it’s just a flat multitouch square.”

Bilton offers, “Apple will do the same thing with its foray into wearable computing. The wrist is not a scary place for consumers to add their first computer… Although five or 10 years from now we could well be walking around with Apple glasses on our faces, the company’s first push into this world of wearables will be through the wrist.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
WSJ: Apple testing ‘iWatch’ device – February 11, 2013
iWatch: Apple developing curved-glass smart watch, sources say – February 11, 2013
Tog: The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem – February 7, 2013
Why Apple should hang-up on the iPhone, iWear is next – January 6, 2013
Analyst sees wearable computers from Apple as future replacement for iPhone – January 2, 2013
Apple and Intel secretly building Bluetooth smartwatch that connects to your iOS devices, say sources – December 27, 2012
Apple patent application details display-integrated cellular antennas – May 6, 2012
Apple patent app details next-gen microstrip cellular antenna for future MacBooks, iWatch and beyond – October 25, 2011

66 Comments

    1. Yeah, they kinda are. At least the ones Google was demonstrating. Smart watches are going to be commonplace there is no doubt, and high end models will have great margins. Glasses? Yeah, they will sell, but not in the numbers smart watches will. Watches are just more practical.

      1. Probably not a big deal: not the same functions, not the same global integration, not the same interaction… Might have some sort of “lookalike”, but it would definitely be another product.

        1. And lets hope if Apple releases a smart watch, that it doesn’t look like it was put together in Steve’s garage with spare parts and a cheesy looking plastic wristband.

      2. I think that this Italian knockoff is just that, a knockoff. People have made watches from the iPod nano for a while now. Apple of course would not trend on the likes of this.

        1. KNOCK OFF?

          are you kidding me, Knock off in design closely to iPOD nano yes and yes its plastic looking… but the MAJOR POINT is its on the market and it does many things already, APPLE never marketed a WATCH, they marketed a app for nike to there iPod nano… NOT a multi-functional communication device as this is that connects to your phone.

      3. So I presume that you have seen Apple’s ‘iWatch’ and are making this judgement based on a working, selling product you can compare to something else? Oh right no you aren’t are you. I tell you what then Apple stop ripping off my Time Machine I know you are doing it because people on here keep mentioning it from time to time. See I can be a prat too.

      4. yes it LOOKS like Pod Nano…

        but a WATCH with a SIM that functions to connect to a phone both android and iOS…

        APPLE better make FACETIME and SIRI on theirs

    2. There are already enough bad drivers on the road. Can you imagine them playing Angry Birds while driving a 6,000 lb. SUV down the road, eating a burger, while hollering at the kids in the back seat?

      iGlasses may come about eventually, but I’ll bet they’ll be on one lens only to minimize distractions.

  1. I said this before but I have been out of the loop(y) for a while.

    In the near future, an iPhone will be your computer.
    That’s it in a nutshell.

    It will be your communicator.
    Your storage for important DATA.
    Your portal to more storage at home, spread out between backup options or in the cloud.

    It will control larger screens that it recognizes (desktop, notebook, possibly even tablets) so that you just sit down and use the peripherals while the phone wirelessly handles the rest.

    Your watch will be the controller (at least for shortcuts).
    Siri, incoming calls, notifications, song and photo selector.

    I know this sounds goofy to some, but this is what I have wanted for years. And just as I started desiring an iPhone in 2005, Apple will make this come true.

    It will be much easier to use many of the iPhone features, including paying for stuff, verses having to get it out of your pocket.

    iCal me….please!

    1. Try using Pro Tools on your iPhone. And I don’t think you’re goofy. Hell, I started desiring the Swedish Bikini team last night and lo and behold they were all in bed with me when I woke up this morning! Must be those warm California nights!

      1. That is so cool!!!
        (I’m talking about the part where you have no clue what I’m talking about)

        Let me dumb it down a bit: You won’t be using Pro Tools on you iPhone so to speak, you will be using it on your Desktop screen.
        Or laptop screen.

        As far as processor power, I’m sure you never thought you would be using iMovie or Navigon or video chatting on your Nokia 7 years ago.

        No go out there and keep reaching for the scars……!

        1. Yeah sure. Right. As you said you have been out of the loop for a while. And, (your words) you are a bit loopy. Okay I can’t argue with that one. And well, maybe you are goofy? Okay, I think you’re right on that one. But because you “wanted it for years” and “desired it” everyone here knows how important “it” is! That makes a lot of sense. Yeah please, dumb it down for me. I make my living with computers. Why don’t you explain how they work and the progress made in computers. Maybe I can learn something? In particular processors and computing power. It’s always wonderful to be in the presence of a genius.

          1. Well, too bad that presence hasn’t rubbed off on you…

            Look, since you have decided to take this so personal and an insult to your professionalism, maybe you should slow down and think if you might have overreacted to something you didn’t understand.

            Apple has always prided itself on making things that people needed, even if they didn’t know they needed it. That was what was meant by them making this a reality, just as they did the iPhone.
            I knew what I wanted in a smart phone and held off two years because none did what I wanted until Apple showed them what to do.

            I’ve known since before Pebble was ever kickstarted what I wanted a watch to do. I quit wearing a watch over 30 years ago because I didn’t like how it felt while playing my Ric 4001 (I quit wearing belts so I wouldn’t scratch it, too…) and seldom wore one because of different types of work. Now I can see where I might would use one again.

            So, hold on to that “I’m a Pro Tools user and nothing will ever change” attitude if you want, because I am sure it will be a long time before work stations are replaced, or servers, or even the main desktop in a household.
            But for most of the light duty work, I stand by what I said.

            And if you haven’t caught “Sound City” yet, I highly recommend it.

  2. Here is a thought – Apple glasses provide the screen and audio and microphone, and an Apple watch provides the touchpad to control them.

    This would solve ergonomic problems for both devices. Watch = terrible small screen. Glasses = how do you control them efficiently?

    Subvocal Siri command response by the glasses would be fantastic, but there would still need to be a way to quickly communicate geometric information where verbal commands would be cumbersome but touch is efficient.

    1. I agree and have always felt that the problem with glasses as a display is that there is no intuitive way to interact with the information. Using a watch and glasses makes more sense as the watch can be the control interface. If you’re only going to have one device, the watch alone s more useful than the glasses alone.

      However I’m rather sceptical that Apple would come up with a three part solution ( iPhone, iWatch, iGlasses ) because it sounds rather too cumbersome.

      While I’m generally dubious about the whole wearable computer thing, I think that a big selling point would be if an iWatch were used as a remote control for Apple TV. That could be enough to lift the product out of the niche category and create mainstream appeal.

    2. I’m quite sure everything with the watch and glasses combo will work out fine until you plow into the back of a school bus or step into the path of a speeding dump truck.

      Distracted driving or walking will wipe out thousands of Apple customers. The lawsuits will be endless.

      Computer glasses will not have mainstream appeal.

  3. A watch makes way more sense. It’s something the average person could incorporate into their world relatively easily, if it provided something useful. As the article says, if we all adopt it and can’t live without a wearable computer, evolving the platform to glasses then becomes a possibility (but no guarantee people will accept it even then).

    Why does Google think they can change human behavior, and fashion, so radically in one shot?

    The only problem with Google is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way.

    1. …..until you find out that it has been made as a compliment to the iPhone/iPad…. Then just like everything else, we will gather to make it a part of our everything else.

  4. Because Apple, unlike Larry Page, has seen Steve Martin’s “The Jerk” (I am referring of course to the side-effects of the Opti-grab eyeglasses from the movie; I assume Google glasses will have some such similar deleterious after-effects.)

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