Further evidence that Apple is working on an iWatch has arrived in the form of a newly published patent filing, but will an Apple smart watch be a hit? Some reports suggest not.
Following last week’s patent application for a
wearable computer that wraps around the wrist, the US Patent and Trademark Office has published another Apple patent covering the ability for a smartphone or tablet to share location data with an “accessory device,” which could be the so-called iWatch, for example.
The patent, which was published on Tuesday, is titled “Communicating location information between a portable device and an accessory,” and covers the process of exchanging GPS data from a portable media device such as the iPhone or iPad, with an accessory, both wired or wirelessly.
notes that, in addition to allowing iPhones or 3G/4G enabled iPads to feed location data to the accessory device, the patent also covers the process of feeding iPads or iPods without GPS receivers with location information from the provided by the accessory.
Apple describes that, if both the accessory and the portable media device have a GPS receiver, the system will default to share the location data from whichever device it deems to be the most accurate at the time. The unit receiving the location data can highlight points of interest nearby, or show real-time GPS navigation.
While there is no direct mention of an iWatch in the patent filing, the system could be applied to a smart watch should Apple indeed launch such device.
However, some reports suggest that the iWatch would be an unnecessary addition to Apple’s product line up.
Business Insider’s Henry Blodget wrote in an article published on Tuesday that he doesn’t find it a burden to take out, hold or operate his iPhone, so he doesn’t “feel any great desire to have one.”
“With the exception of the possible “fitness tracking,” the iWatch just sounds like a smaller, more limited, more awkward smartphone,” Blodget writes. “If I’m going to have to carry my smartphone anyway, to give the iWatch internet access, I can’t imagine why I would also want to carry around another smaller, crappier version of my smartphone.”
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Blodget points to the likelihood that we won’t be able to type, browse the web, watch movies or take good pictures with an iWatch, to back up his claims that the device wouldn’t be very useful.
He also highlights The Wall Street Journal’s
Pebble smart watch review, in which Walt Mossberg said that, while he found the device helpful for receiving notifications and controlling music, there were several limitations, and that it’s really only useful if you “have a spare $150 and hate digging out your phone, or can’t easily do so, to see if you need to attend to a call or message.”
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In a recent survey,
we found that one in three Macworld readers would buy an Apple smart watch, while 44 per cent of the respondents said that they don’t need one.
Do you think that an iWatch would be a success, and prove a useful addition to your gadget inventory? Let us know in the comments section below, or on
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