Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn are experimenting with ‘a watch-like device that would perform some functions of a smartphone,’ according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
The Journal reported yesterday that Foxconn has ‘has been working on a spate of technologies that could be used in wearable devices.’
The WSJ story is the latest in a spate of reports and comments from industry insiders which claim that wearable computing, a sector which is growing quickly, could be where Apple intends to launch its next ground-breaking device.
Last week, former Mac OS user interface designer and author of Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines, Bruce Tognazzini speculated on his blog about a device he called the iWatch. It would, said Tognazzini, ‘fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem. It will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come.’
Among the features the iWatch should have, said Tognazzini is the ability to unlock an iPhone using a proximity sensor, and a method for making an iPhone play an alert so it could be easily found when mis-placed.
Yesterday the New York Times carried a report which said ‘Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass.’ It added that ‘Such a watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.’
Last year Corning, which makes the Gorilla Glass used in Apple’s mobile devices, launched Willow Glass which the company said ‘has the potential to enable displays to be “wrapped” around a device or structure.’