It’s iTime: Apple gets to work on glass smartwatch

Apple is reportedly developing a curved glass smartwatch that will follow the shape of a wearer’s wrist.

Described by The New York Times journalist Nick Bilton as “wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass,”, it is understood they are in development at Apple’s headquarters, and would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, the same operating system that runs its iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch media players.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, Jessica E Lessin also claims that Apple is developing a curved-glass smartwatch, or iWatch, and that the company has already held talks with its major manufacturing partner Foxconn regarding its production.

The New York Times points out that Corning, the maker of very durable Gorilla Glass, which covers the iPhone, has been experimenting with bendable glass over the last few years.

Chinese technology site Tech 163 reported earlier this year that Apple was talking to supply partners about a smart watch with a 1.5in OLED screen that would pair to an iPhone via Bluetooth.

Meanwhile, former Apple employee and human-computer interaction specialist Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini claims on his own blog that Apple has no choice but to develop a smartwatch in order to “fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem”.

Unlike The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Tognazzini’s claims are based purely on his depth of understanding of the company (during his 14 years at Apple he founded the Apple human interface group and was Apple’s human interface evangelist), its products, the patents it holds, and the problems and opportunities that exist in the company’s key markets, rather than “inside information”.

The iWatch, as the tech community has dubbed it, is one of four persistent Apple rumours in massive circulation at the moment. Depending on which newspapers, blogs, or financial institutions one subscribes to, Apple is about to launch a watch, a television, a radio streaming service, and a plastic entry-level iPhone within the next 12 months.

Google, Apple’s main competitor in the smartphone sector, plans to release its own type of wearable computers soon. However, these computers, known as Google Glass, are worn as glasses and display digital information right in front of your eyes, projected over the physical world.

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