Former Apple human interface developer makes a case for an iWatch

By , Feb 9, 2013

iWatch concept (Anders Kjellberg 006)

With Apple’s iPhone line approaching 7 years old, and the iPad nearly 3 years old, industry watchers are calling for the company to come up with ‘the next big thing.’ And there’s two mythical products that seem to keep coming up in the conversation: the iTV and the iWatch.

While we’ve heard dozens of rumors concerning Apple building its own TV set, speculation regarding the iWatch has been much more subdued. Perhaps that’s why this post from Bruce Tognazzini, a former Apple employee, is getting so much attention this week…

Of course, Tognazzini wasn’t just your average Apple staffer. He’s known within Cupertino as employee #66 (Steve Jobs is #0 and Steve Wozniak is #1), and he also founded the company’s human interface group. So needless to say, he has the credentials to be speculating.

And boy does he ever. The post, which was published to his personal blog ‘Ask Tog’ earlier this week, offers a number of compelling reasons for why Apple should, and likely will, produce an integrated smartwatch. Here’s one of his more interesting ideas regarding passcodes:

“The watch can and should, for most of us, eliminate passcodes altogether on iPhones, and Macs and, if Apple’s smart, PCs: As long as my watch is in range, let me in! That, to me, would be the single-most compelling feature a smartwatch could offer: If the watch did nothing but release me from having to enter my passcode/password 10 to 20 times a day, I would buy it.”

Likewise, he proposes that the watch should be used in conjunction with Find My iPhone, sounding an alert whenever the wearer moves out of range of their iPhone or iPad. There’s several devices out there that already do this, and it definitely seems like a must-have feature here.

Next comes talk of NFC. While near field communication tech has long been rumored to make its way into the iPhone, Tognazzini argues that it would be far more useful in a watch. This would allow users to make NFC transactions without ever having to pull out their iPhone.

“The NFC chip belongs in the iWatch, not in the iPhone! That way we’ll know exactly where it is at all times, strapped to the end of an appendage expressly designed to be waved around at things.  How handy! Reach. Touch. Done.

Meanwhile, our iPhone, handling any necessary communication, will stay hidden safely away, and, if someone does manage to get ahold of our watch, it will require reauthorization, having been removed from our arm.  Net value to the thief: Zilch. Net loss to us: A whole lot less than an iPhone, with word on the street quickly making it clear there’s no point in stealing an iWatch.

Of course, not every merchant will accept NFC right away, so the watch, linked to Passport, will also display QR codes, etc.”

These are just a few of the possibilities of what an iWatch could do, and that’s not even including what it could do with the addition of third party apps. Think run trackers, golf swing enhancers—anything that could take advantage of GPS and other sensors worn on the wrist.

The entire post is worth a read, and you can do so by clicking here. I have to admit that if Apple came out with a smartwatch like this, I’d buy one in a heartbeat.

What about you?

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  • jgr627

    I would buy it even if it didn’t do any of those things

  • Johnathan Jennings

    You mean “passbook” instead of passport?
    But Hardly anyone born in the 90′s or later wears a watch, and those people Make up a large part of Apple’s buyers. The iWatch just seems like a bad idea to me. Good concept, but bad idea, it wouldn’t sell as well as Apple would expect it to.

    • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

      Well this would be a pretty good reason for people to start wearing one. You know what the youth of today is like for fads and gimmics

    • http://www.facebook.com/neuroticdave David Jesus Delgado

      The Pebble has had over 85,000 people order it. I think there’s a market for it.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        You’re not the brightest when it comes to business are you? Just some kid who thinks a shiny new Apple product will dominate. Listen. 85,000 watches.. OMG:D oh wait.. That’s nothing. At all. Apple sold 48 MILLION iPhones in Q4 2012 alone. You reply to this comment when your pebble is selling even a million.

      • http://twitter.com/brooksbrooks104 brooks whiffen seale

        I would have alot of uses for it if it had the ability to show text messages and phone calls.

      • Johnathan Jennings

        That’s called reach your hand into your pocket ad grab your Damn phone. My point is, iWatch ISN’T HAPPENING.

      • JamesR624

        Could someone get this troll out of here, Please?

      • Johnathan Jennings

        I’m not a troll you little fag. People are just stupid.

      • Trevor Potter

        Fuck the fuck off. You’re a nobody. Does Apple need some little bitch telling them how to run their company? What kind of position are you in to give business advice to a multibillion dollar industry? Do you think they need you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/zacksloane Zachary Sloane

    Battery life? Running NFC, Bluetooth and GPS?

  • http://twitter.com/JoyCiticonti Andrew von Pikrt

    Pretty much exactly my points, didnt know about this man, but i agree with almost every his argument.

  • Liam Mulcahy

    I want a iTV more but cool

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002136300838 Michael Hulet

    Wow.. #66 doesn’t know Passbook from a passport.. I’m glad to hear someone like that making the case for an iWatch, though. I can’t wait to get one

  • http://www.facebook.com/denberger Denis Berger

    will not buy. hate watches love my smartphone. Watches are annoying and uncomforable i rather have them in my poket oh wait my phone is already there.

  • Daniel

    I wear watches whole my life. If this one is futuristic and James Bond like – will definitely buy one. Just hope so the price won’t be higher than golden Rolex.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristoflanslots Kristof Lanslots

    Instant buy! I only take my watch of to shower. I sleep with it, I feel naked without my watch.

    • http://twitter.com/sharmanhall sharmanhall

      That’s because you ARE naked when you are without your watch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000945354629 Avery Massenburg

    I never thought about Passcodes and Find my iPhone. and the NFC functions for mobile payments and Passbook sounds like a great idea! I’d buy it day one! :D