It's time for Apple to unveil an iWatch, tech experts say
Development of 'bendable glass' has cleared way for a smart wrist watch running iOS
APPLE is developing a smart-watch made from bendable curved glass that will offer many of the features of its iPhone, the New York Times reports.
Unconfirmed rumours have been circulating for some time. Now sources inside the secretive company have admitted the iWatch is under development at Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters.
The move into a completely new product category should provide a welcome boost for Apple which has been accused of "losing its momentum" since the death of founder Steve Jobs.
Writing in the New York Times, Nick Bilton says the curved glass watches will run the same iOS platform Apple uses for its iPhone. Bilton says the release of an iWatch by the technology giant will help push "wearable computing" – computer peripherals that are worn on the body or attached to clothing - into the mainstream.
Bilton points out that Apple is already encouraging users to wear its products on their wrists, by selling an iPod Nano MP3 player with a watch face. Apple is certainly capable of making such a device, says Bilton, because last year Corning - the company that makes the "ultra-tough Gorilla Glass used on the iPhone" - announced it had created a bendable product called Willow Glass that can "flop as easily as a piece of paper in the wind without breaking".
Technology analyst Gene Munster told the New York Times he can foresee a future where people own a tablet and several wearable devices such as a smart watch and a pair of intelligent glasses. The wearable devices would perform tasks such as texting, quick web searches and navigation, he said.
The Cult of Mac website says pressure is mounting on Apple to get an iWatch to market because its rivals are already releasing wearable products. Late last month, the US company Pebble began shipping its E Paper Watch, which connects to an iPhone or Android handset via Bluetooth and notifies its owner of incoming texts, calls and emails.