Like Inspector Gadget before us, Americans may also soon be wearing a high-tech watch capable of performing a wide range of features. The New York Times recently reported Apple, the Fortune 500 company that brought us the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, is “experimenting with wrist-like devices,” complete with a curved glass and that not surprisingly, run on iOS, Apple’s operating system platform.
Only time will tell if this rumor is true and what exactly it means, but consumers will likely expect magic — scaled down and bottled up — for a practical 21st Century version of the watch cartoon hero Inspector Gadget made famous in the 80s. Furthermore, the report seems to have more traction than most Apple rumors that dart throughout the blogosphere. The report cited an anonymous source familiar with Apple’s test.
Apple has not commented on the reports, but that is not unusual. The company is notorious for keeping products a secret. It makes one wonder if this leak is pure rumor or an intentional slip by an Apple insider to generate buzz as Apple stocks continue to dip following the death of visionary Apple leader Steve Jobs. If so, the report is gorilla marketing at its finest. People are taking note.
So, just how in-depth is this new wrist-like device? Here’s what we know so far: Corning, the maker of the Gorilla Glass screens used in the iPhone, has developed a .01 mm thick bendable glass screen called Willow Glass. Meanwhile, apple supplier Foxconn has been working on equipment with lower power requirements. Could this by the work of Apple patent No. 8,368,654 dubbed an “integrated touch sensor and solar panel configurations?”
In part the patent says that “When an approaching object, such as a finger, is detected the solar panel may switch to a capacitive sensing mode to more precisely locate the object. Alternatively, the solar panel may cycle between solar power/optical sensing mode and capacitive sensing mode.”
Time can only answer whether or not consumer will actually see one of these devices. But for now, it’s at least encouraging to hear Apple’s secret lab may still be buzzing with activity as consumers pine for the next big thing from the revolutionary tech company.