Tags: apple | iwatch | flexible | glass

Apple Working On iWatch Made With Flexible Glass, Say Sources

Monday, 11 Feb 2013 01:19 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Apple is reportedly developing a smart watch — an iWatch — complete with curved glass and smartphone capabilities that would rival watches in spy movies.

Sources told New York Times tech blogger Nick Bilton that Apple is testing wristwatch-like devices made of curved, bendable glass that would run on the company's iOS platform.

Apple has declined to comment, leading bloggers to speculate what an iWatch would be capable of. What would it look like? Would it include Siri, the voice assistant? Would it have a version of Apple's map software, offering real-time directions to people walking down the street? Could it receive text messages? Could it monitor a user’s health or daily activities? How much would it cost?

"Although it would take Dick Tracy to find the answers to those questions, and it's uncertain when Apple might unveil such a device, it’s clear that Apple has the technology," Bilton writes.

Last year, Corning, the maker of the ultra-tough Gorilla Glass that is used in the iPhone, announced that they solved the difficult engineering challenge of creating bendable glass, called Willow Glass, which the company worked on for longer than a decade.

"You can certainly make it wrap around a cylindrical object and that could be someone's wrist," Pete Bocko, Corning's chief technology officer, told Bilton. "Right now, if I tried to make something that looked like a watch, that could be done using this flexible glass."

Chinese gadget site Tech.163 reported late last year that Apple was in the process of developing a watch featuring Bluetooth and a 1.5-inch display, according to Bilton.

Sources claim Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is very interested in gadgets you can wear, sources claim. Cook reportedly sports a Nike FuelBand, which tracks a user's daily exertion.

"Over the long term, wearable computing is inevitable for Apple; devices are diversifying and the human body is a rich canvas for the computer," Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst who specializes in wearable computing, told Bilton. "But I'm not sure how close we are to a new piece of Apple hardware that is worn on the body."

Related stories:

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Apple Unveils iPad with More Memory

Report: Apple Testing New iPhone

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