February 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

iWatch Rumor Roundup: Bluetooth Buddy to ‘Black Swan’ Television

Say what you will about iOS vs. Android or Mac vs. Windows — nobody can deny that Apple’s tight-lipped approach to its widely-anticipated product announcements is a success. Apple creates a vacuum. The rumors fill it. And just like that, everybody’s talking about Apple again.

This time, it’s the Apple iWatch — a smart doohickey that would communicate information to and indicate information from your other doohickeys.

Being music-minded, we’re tempted to hazard a few guesses about the Apple iWatch — assuming that it is real and that it makes it through Apple’s notoriously destructive design cycle, which deletes many prototypes on the way to production:

  • Vibrating alerts (someone sends you a song, an album is released, your friend listened to something you recommended, concert tickets went on sale, etc.)
  • Of course it would synchronize and program music for workouts based on your movements.
  • It could hold your concert tickets in a Passbook app.
  • Invisible instruments! Remote control of all music players! Third-party app integration!

We’ll stop there. Why go out on a limb with guesses about a possibly vaporous product, when we can let other people do it for us? Here’s a shortlist of rumors making the rounds about Apple’s iWatch:

1.5-inch display: ostensibly big enough to see but small enough to fit on a wrist — seems about right (TGBUS)

Bluetooth 4.0: This can operate at low power, meaning the battery in the iWatch wouldn’t have to be huge to last all day; and low latency, meaning that it reacts quickly when it senses stuff and can transmit that quickly to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, which leads us to…

Because of that low latency, the iWatch would be able to transmit movement data to a phone, quickly and reliably. That would make it suitable not only for iPod + Nike-style workout monitoring (which has already been done by Nike Fuelband, not that that would stop Apple).

Apple iWatch will be “a Siri-based remote control for iCloud” (Cult of Mac). If that’s true, you should be able to “talk to the hand” in order to trigger playlists in iCloud to stream on your AirPort Express, Apple TV, or AirPlay-enabled sound system, which would be pretty cool.

A vaguely “black swan“-sounding theory arrived this morning: that these rumors are a smokescreen, because “iWatch” is really a television (Forbes). If that’s the case, you might already have the remote. On the other hand, so to speak, Bloomberg’s sources say it’s definitely a watch made of “curved glass,” probably from Corning according to the New York Times, with which Apple has a long history. Also, the Wall Street Journal says Apple has hired lots of people with “backgrounds in sensors,” ostensibly to work on the iWatch.

That’s pretty much what we think we sort of maybe know, or not, about Apple’s current rumor-generating vaporware — other than that The Guardian says it might look like this:

apple iwatch music

If it’s real, we sincerely hope that Apple works hard to give third-party app developers access to its API. A wrist-borne iWatch could be an amazing development for music, but only if it can control more than Apple’s own music apps.

Now for a prediction: If Apple iWatch has a decent API, an artist will eventually release a track that ceases unless you wave your hands in the air (sort of like this).

(image courtesy of The Guardian)