The iPhone has simplified my life in an infinite number of ways. It has truly converged so many things into one device. But excited as I am about the iPhone and it's future, I am even more excited about the the fusion of mobile technology and the wristwatch.
My love affair with watches was never really one of style so much as it was function. The first watch I was truly passionate about was a Casio calculator watch that I owned back in the 3rd grade. I was still young enough for the other kids to think I was cool but not yet old enough to be branded a nerd. I remember using this watch during math hour. Of course this was new technology, so the teacher had new clue I had a little help in geting the right anwsers to basic math problems.
The second watch I owned was even more special to me. It was special in that I recall countless dreams as a child wishing this watch was sitting on my wrist. Those dreams would end on a birthday of mine as my Mom surprised with me with the real deal. I LOVED THIS WATCH!! Not only did it tell time, but it played PAC-MAN! One thing about this watch that was so cool was that the wrist band stored a joystick that you would pull out and plug into the hole on the face of the watch. (After posting this, I may have to hit up eBay and find one of these things.)
Fast forward to 2011.
It's Apple's yearly keynote where they announced the latest in their iOS lineup. This keynote was all about the iPhone 4S. But they also spent a few minutes talking about a software update tor their Nano lineup. In the latest update, they included several watch interfaces. They recognized that 3rd party manufacturers saw the potential of the Nano as a wearable accessory piece and got to work. Apple joined in the fun and there has since been a surge of interest in using the Nano as more than just an miniature iPod.
So what is the iPod Nano in it's current form? Well, it's an iPod, a voice recorder, a pedometor, a photo album, a radio, and a watch. What could it become? The possibilities are endless. But I believe things are about to get real interesting with the Nano lineup. Apple has been integrating technologies into our i-Devices over the past couple of years and if those same technologies could be stuffed into our new iPod wristwatches, then we could see the next big thing in mobile technology come to life.
What's currently missing in the Nano that keeps this dream of mine from coming to fruition? Here is a quick list:
1) Bluetooth 4.0: Suprisingly missing in the lastest iteration of the product is a way to listen to your music wirelessly.
2) Wi-Fi: With an internet connection, this opens the door for many other possibilities, the most important being access to your iCloud media and other personal data.
3) Air Play: This has turned out to be one of my favorite things about my iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. I would love to see this integrated in the Nano as well.
4) FaceTime: Seriously folks. This would be the real deal Dick Tracy feature here.
5) Siri integration: The one hurdle in making the wrist watch a true mobile computing device is a un-awkward way to input text. Siri takes care of that. Voice dication is the anwser.
6) 3rd Party Apps: This would be a true game changer. With a Wi-Fi connection and access to the App Store, you coud read your emails or iMessages, view your tweets, check your Facebook, read the news or one of your iBooks, check the weather, view your calendar, play Angry Birds or just watch Netflx. The possibilites are endless when you include the App Store. I would love to see a keynote with some developers showing off what they were able to accomplish on such a small device.
7) Notification Center: It would be really nice if the "iWatch" could be the notification hub. Sometimes it is not always convenient to pull your iPhone out of your pocket or purse or the iPad out of your briefcase. But with a quick glance at the wrist, you could get a quick look at your notifications and know what you are being alerted of with no effort. (It sounds lazy but I still want it.)
8) Apple Design: I do believe the Nano will morph into a watch one day and I am hoping that day is soon. But for the iWatch to have mass appeal, it has to be advertised as a watch and it needs to be fashionable. There is no one better to design this product and there is no one better to market this watch.
The ball is in Apple's court now. They changed the music industry, they changed the smartphone industry and they changed the landscape of serious mobile computing. This market is still up for grabs but it is my firm belief that Apple is the only player in this game who has the potential to make this happen. This could truly become the most converged device in history. The intimate relationship that we share with our tech is in it's infant stages. The best is yet to come.