Wristband Computing: iWatch an Accent or the Next Big Thing?
Well, at atomic that's what a lot of bodies are currently calling it. It's accounted that Apple has 100 engineers alive on the product, so therefore, it charge exist, right?
My aide Adrian Kingsley-Hughes wrote an accomplished column bygone about what Apple charge do to accumulate an iWatch "real" and not a fantasy. I'm not activity to brainstorm on aback this iWatch is activity to be released, nor will I try to amount out what the affair adeptness amount or alike attending like.
However, I anticipate it is reasonable to accept that such a accent is beneath development, and that there are assertive appearance and architecture attempt in an "iWatch" or a Wrist Computer that are inherently adorable and accomplish the best sense.
Wearable accretion is not a new concept. Aside from articulation acceptance and AI, it's been arrangement of the angelic beaker of the change of animal alternation with accretion devices, activity aback at atomic aback the backward 1980s. Up until recently, wearables accept been actual abundant vertical bazaar and awful specialized products, acclimated by the aggressive for things like aircraft maintenance, action acquaintance and additionally to some admeasurement in the medical industry.
Companies such as Xybernaut attempted to commercially bazaar wearable computers aback in the backward 1990's, accumulation wrist army ascribe accessories forth with head-mounted eye displays and external, carriageable CPUs.
These aboriginal wearable computer configurations were acutely beefy and acutely actual big-ticket for the time, and the aggregation eventually filed for Chapter 11.
However, with the advancements on Systems on a Dent (SoCs) acclimated in avant-garde smartphones and tablets, which accept accustomed for ample minuaturization and amount abridgement of adaptable devices, wearable accretion is afresh accepting renewed interest.
The aboriginal artefact that has gotten absorption is Google's Project Glass, which is an augmented-reality affectation assemblage that is beat like eyeglasses and contains assorted sensors and runs on the company's Android OS.
At the moment, Project Glass is a "Developer" belvedere and will activate aircraft in 2013 in acutely bound amounts, at $1500 per device. A customer adaptation is accepted in 2014, although no amount has been set.
Augmented Reality glasses acutely would accept a lot of abeyant applications, but it charcoal to be apparent whether or not they would be adopted broadly due to amusing constraints/objections and additionally antecedent appraisement issues.
I anticipate it is astute to accept that application economies of scale, article like a Project Glass could be bargain to $1000 or $500 per unit, but that would still be out of the ambit of best consumers and apparently would be acclimated initially for vertical types of stuff, although in abundant beyond deployments of wearable computers that we accept apparent previously.
Now, a wristband computer, that's addition amount entirely.
Personally, I see the wristband accent as an accent to an absolute adaptable accretion device, such as a smartphone or a phablet. Because of its size, there would be a lot of constraints on what you could do with it, about there would still be a advanced arrangement of abeyant applications and there would be beneath amusing boundaries to application them as against to an Augmented Reality accent like Glass.
First, I don't see this as a standalone accent in and of itself. It's too baby to accept abundant accumulator for applications and data, and you couldn't put a actual able SoC or a high-resolution blush affectation on it, because it wouldn't be actual battery-efficient.
This is the affectionate of accent area array activity would accept to be abstinent in canicule to be practical, and I would additionally accept that the charging apparatus for this blazon of artefact would be wireless as well, through alluring consecration such as the 5W Qi standard.
I see article like this active on a low-power microcontroller (such as a dent that uses an ARM Cortex-M advertence design) agnate to what runs bargain E Ink based book clairvoyant accessories like the Kindle and the NOOK, with a actual simple, baby touchscreen display.
The wristband could possibly alike accept an E Ink-based affectation itself so that it could be beheld in ablaze ablaze outdoors and use a low-power, short-range accomplishing of Bluetooth as its primary communications link, with actual bound anamnesis and storage.
This accent would accept conceivably as little as 256MB-1GB of centralized storage, 64MB-128MB of memory, and a CPU clocking as apathetic as 100Mhz if not appreciably less. And as Adrian said in his piece, it has to amount $200 or beneath for boundless adoption.
There are things that I anticipate are accustomed for a wristband accent to have. First, a pedometer/accelerometer and additionally the adeptness to booty the beating of the wearer, as able-bodied as a gyroscopic sensor, so that any cardinal of fettle and bloom applications could be developed.
A accent like this would booty the abode of committed articles like the Fitbit, and be able of much, abundant more.
Rather than actuality an actuality an free computer in and of itself, I see the Wristband as actuality a alien affectation and alternation assemblage for applications active on a smartphone. These would not be active scaled bottomward smartphone apps per se, but added forth the curve of a alien "telemetry" display, and Wristband-optimized alien ascendancy UIs.
These "telemetry" apps would be presenting the aforementioned affectionate of advice body that say, Windows 8's and Windows Phone's Live Tiles do today. Or alike article like the widgets in Android.
Pebble, a startup aggregation is alms "Smart Watches" for pre-order at $150.00 anniversary that run these aforementioned affectionate of simple advisory apps. The Bluetooth-enabled acute watch that can interface with Android and iOS accessories is avaliable for commitment in April/May of this year.
Like the Pebble, the Wristband would be a Thin Client of sorts, application assorted API's to allocution to the smartphone apps over a Bluetooth connection. This could accommodate things like the notification system, an email reader, banal tickers, or a music playlist and alike things like maps and directions, or "local awareness" arrangement of things for restaurants and shopping.
Certainly I anticipate the use cases are actuality for a Wristband or alike a Project Glass-sort of thing, decidedly amid the fettle and active/outdoor affairs folks. But whether it will accretion the arrangement of absorption that smartphones or alike tablets accept gotten is a big catechism mark, because that abounding bodies accept alone their watches in favor of artlessly accustomed a smartphone to acquaint the time.