Apple’s pulled a fast one on everyone, not by not announcing their own smartwatch but by calling it the Apple Watch rather than dropping an ‘i’ in front of it. But yes, there is a smartwatch from Apple on the way.
The Apple Watch looks to be something that we’d like to get our hands on, as if there was every any doubt, with extensive app support being a feature. The display will show a Home Screen similar to the iPhone by using something Apple calls the Digital Crown, which will “answer the fundamental challenge of how to magnify content on a small display”. Long story short, touching it will allow users to interact with their smartwatch in a simple but effective way.
The Digital Crown will let users scroll through messages, navigate and choose when to make selections without having to use a touchscreen. In practise, it should be a very effective way to get the most out of a teeny wrist-mounted display. Expect to be able to use Apple’s Maps from your wrist to navigate (good for hiking) and even dictate and send messages without resorting to your phone.
Speaking of displays, the Apple Watch will indeed have a flexible sapphire display – Retina, of course.
Sensors are also a thing, with LEDs (infrared and visible light) as well as photosensors facing your wrist and giving you pulse information – should go down well with Apple’s health app.
Custom faces, a selection of wristbands and general look and feel will be up to the user. Apple has shown off a wide variety of looks for the Watch.
Also coming are extensive fitness features, which will learn from you as you move and exercise, and considerable app support for those functions. We’re… actually quite impressed at this point.
Stuff will have more detail on the Apple Watch and what it can do at a slightly later stage. For now, it’ll probably set you back around $350 (R3,850) and will be available from next year. That’s fine, we can wait.