Are Apple about to jump head-first into the accessory market? That’s what all the signs point to this week after the Californian-giant trademarked the “iWatch” term in an application to the Japan Patent Office.
The patent isn’t the only clue in this mystery, however. Apple have not released a new product since the iPad, and ever since the passing of the legendary Steve Jobs rumours have abound that the technology firm are on the verge of announcing a new gadget.
In February, Apple submitted a patent application for a ‘wearable accessory device’. Coupled with the hiring of Saint Laurent chief executive Paul Deneve, the obvious conclusion is that Apple are interested in releasing some kind of watch.
But what would an iWatch do?
Just as Google have announced their ‘Google Glass’ spectacles, Apple sees the need to explore the market and create a quirkier alternative. The patent submitted in February describes the device as ‘wearable accessory’ consisting of a flexible display and a touch-sensitive interface.
Various possible features include remote notifications, voice sensitive command (Siri) and access to Bluetooth and wireless technology. Alternatively, it could act as a means of controlling a future Apple television, a market that the firm have long been interested in crashing.
However, as with all devices as seemingly ludicrous as an iWatch, many people are sceptical about such a device. Giant firms patent just about any device that they can think of. The size restrictions alone dismiss any possibility that the iWatch will pioneer new technology or features that are not available on an iPhone or iPad, whilst critics are split in terms of whether an iWatch will act as a secondary device to the iPad or iPhone.
Regardless, we may soon be embarking into a future where the ‘chic’ kids roll around with Google specs and Apple clinging onto their wrists. Heaven forbid…