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Apple iWatch: What we know so far

Yoni Heisler | May 29, 2013
Evidence indicates Apple is pouring resources into development of 'snap bracelet' style device with a flexible display.

Shedding even more light on the team, The Verge subsequently reported that Apple's iWatch project is being led by Jony Ive, who is overseeing a team of more than 100 engineers.

While one may be quick to question why Apple's design guru is spearheading the project, remember that Ive took on added responsibilities at Apple following the departure of Scott Forstall. In addition to his position as Apple's Senior VP of Industrial Design, Ive is also the head of Apple's Human Interface group where he's now responsible for overseeing software design across the entirety of Apple's product line.

What's more, additional reports have indicated that Apple has hired a number of people with expertise in sensors and "related technologies" as they relate to mobile devices and wearable technology.

One such hire was wearable technology expert Richard DeVaul, who joined Apple back in March of 2010. With a PhD from MIT in Media Arts & Sciences, DeVaul is considered one of the top experts when it comes to integrating technology into wearable, mobile, and portable applications. While at Apple, DeVaul worked as a Senior Prototype Engineer where it was rumored he worked on a top secret project that only seven people at Apple were aware of at the time, one of which was Jony Ive.

Via LinkedIn, DeVaul described his responsibilities thusly: "Investigation and rapid prototyping of new technologies and features across Apple's product line."

DeVaul, however, was only at Apple for about 18 months before he left to take a position at Google.

But even before DeVaul, Apple had demonstrated an extreme interest in watch design. Ive is a self professed watch connoisseur who in the early-mid 2000s visited Nike factories to observe their watch manufacturing methods.

What's more, Ive at the time ordered boxes of sports watches from Nike for him and his team to inspect.

BusinessInsider was able to catch up with former Nike Creative Director Scott Wilson who shed some light on Ive's interest in watchwear.

``He and others in the design group just requested them and we sent them a ton of Nike Presto Digital Bracelets and the aluminum Oregon Series Alti-Compass watches. Was flattered that they were requesting them. Thought they were only personal requests but their materials guy followed up with many questions on the materials and processes. This meshes up with their research in watch manufacturing during that timeframe which has been documented in previous stories. They definitely drew upon watch industry techniques and manufacturing in their products since the first iPhone. Interesting that it may come full circle to an actual iWatch at some point.''

WHAT WILL IWATCH DO??
Okay, so it seems abundantly clear that Apple is, in fact, working on a smartwatch of some kind. But just what exactly will it do?

 

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