There are lots of rumors right now, about this certain Apple wearable. Rumors here, there, everywhere. The “iWatch” or “iBand” craze has contaminated the Internet, and official confirmation about such device is coming soon.
We have a very abstract idea of what the device might actually do, or look like. Although, we do have trusted sources telling us what features it might have, or even what size it might be. But with a company like Apple, nothing is certain. It could be a watch that tells time, tracks health, shows notifications and sits on your wrist all the time, or another sort of thing we can’t even think about yet.
Two weeks ago, after the Monday WWDC keynote ended, we were all talking and tweeting about this new confidence among the executives and Apple in general. That is because, I think, they are excited about something coming this fall. And they know its something we don’t expect.
I recently read a couple of articles about how iOS 8′s features can be easily implemented in a small “iWatchy” interface. One by Mark Gurman, which focused on how consumer features could be implemented, and one by Nik of Realmac Software, which focused on the developer tools that could be implemented in the device’s software. Both great pieces that put everything in context of what the device might actually be.
But the latter article slapped me in the face with a late night revelation. What if this rumored wearable is not actually a watch? What if it is something more flexible, more adaptive to certain events?
Nik’s article stated the following:
“Lots has been made of the new Lightning Cable Audio Spec, but in some ways it’s being looked at in the wrong way […] what if instead [the Lightning cable] was a way to getting headphones to connect to a small new device with nothing but a Lightning port?”
Hmm, that’s an interesting point. What if the iWatch actually supports headphones. The popular 3.5 mm jack could be a bit thick, and the Lightning port could be used instead. Before you stop reading, this is NOT another “Why Apple bought Beats” thing.
The point of that quote is that this wearable could be used to listen to music, podcasts, etc. So, wouldn’t it be kind of weird to connect headphones to something that lived only on your wrist? I think not. If you were to go for a run with headphones connected to your watch, you arm’s movement would be so awkward with a Lightning cable dangling around.
That’s when it hit me.
What if this device was not a watch per se, but an iClip? Before you call this idea stupid, lets think about it.
An iClip would be an iWatch and more. It could be an iPod shuffle sort of thing, with a little clip, but with a larger body, along with a full glass (or sapphire) display and sensors around it. What if this device is meant to be worn other than just the wrist? Sure you get a nice, elegant wristband for daily use, and the ability to buy more and switch between them. Its economically viable for sure, along with giving users personalisation options (Not mentioning the huge third-party accessory market). And when you want to listen to The Prompt while working out, you can, with the iClip comfortably clipped on your shorts, and the headphone cable out of your way. It can be specially useful with the sensors, so when you go for a run and clip it on your shirt, for example, the sensors could still capture your steps, miles, calories burned and everything, just like wearing it on your wrist.
I imagine the phisical design to be a circle, with the clip being a lot more thinner that the one we currently find on the iPod shuffle (and stronger), or last-generation iPod nano, so it can be comfortably placed on your wrist as well.
I think this could be marketed as an iPod, and be priced like one. John Gruber certainly agrees too:
“It feels a lot more likely to me that any new wearable devices from Apple will be priced more along the line of iPods: in the $100-400 range. Maybe a little higher at the outset, coming down over time. (I wouldn’t even be surprised if they use the iPod brand for them.)”
That makes sense, because it will be able to do the same things an iPod nano currently can, and obviously more. I do agree the iClip is an extremely dumb name and something Apple would never use, but we do know people are familiar with the word iPod, and a marketing refresh would certainly help the rest of the line. Maybe iPod Health? Who knows. But it certainly is an interesting idea for us to dance around.
This might seem like a crazy idea, but I think its totally viable, and something we certainly didn’t expect, or at least I didn’t, until I started digging around and came up with this idea. If you think this is dumb and makes no sense, let me know on my Twitter, and we can talk about the possibilities, or my ignorance.
Thanks for reading this crazy thought that came to me during a late night Pocket-queue-reading session. Hopefully it contributes to the expectations and more possibilities are discovered.