Photo: Flickr/Brett Jordan
There’s a team of 100 product designers, marketers, and hardware and software engineers working on a smartwatch at Apple, Bloomberg reports.The size of the group suggests that the so-called “iWatch” project has moved beyond test stages.
Apple’s iPod Nano has already been adapted by some customers as a makeshift watch by adding a wristband. But an iWatch would be a significant advance, using new curved glass from Corning and presumably running Apple’s iOS operating system, the same used in iPhones and iPads. (iPods, except for the iPod Touch, run a custom operating system.)
A smartwatch would be Apple’s entry into the field of wearable computing—devices evocative of the old “Dick Tracy” comic strip, where phone calls and notifications arrive on a lightweight device, handling most mobile functions that don’t require a large screen while staying connected to a phone or tablet that can stay in a pocket or purse.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is on the board of Nike, which has partnered with Apple on apps and hardware for fitness tracking. The company has long been interested in fitness applications for mobile devices.
Pebble, a gadget backed by prospective buyers of the device on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, has proven that there’s considerable consumer interest in smartwatches.
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