The smartwatch wars are heating up as Sundar Pichai announces a software development kit for Android-powered wearables is on the way from Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Meanwhile, designer Tomás Moyano has designed an iWatch concept that has us anticipating the rival Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) release.
Moyano says he is inspired not by the miniaturization of technology, as would appear in the Apple iWatch, as much as the ability to do more with such a device. Apple is reportedly keen on making the iWatch a wearable focused on fitness, and Moyano says his concept removes holes and buttons for a more water- and dust-resistant design.
Moyana says he reads "a lot about technology and new devices," and watched intently as Samsung, Sony and LG released their smartwatches in the past few weeks. "Honestly, I would not buy one of those devices, because they still don't add something of value to my life."
"They don't make anything that my iPhone could not do. I think these products are in pre-beta levels yet," Moyana told the International Business Times. "I thought these companies are [moving] the wrong way. How could you wear a smartwatch and constantly be afraid of taking it into the water, trying to avoid dusty places? If we wear watches, it is because we want to take them always with us, and that is not possible with current designs."
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Moyano omits cellular data from the iWatch, to save battery life, and incorporates solar and wireless charging in his design. He says he is still tinkering with the iWatch concept's design and user interface challenges. Here is Moyano's abstract for his iWatch concept:
Before creating a new product, I always ask myself: Why? Why should something new exist? What is the problem, the need or the desire that pushes humans to create new products, and how could they improve the way we live? How could technology help us to make everyday life better?
In my opinion, actual smartwatches don´t add something of value to our daily experience. The miniaturization of technology by itself is not a significant cause to develop a new product, just to achieve some extra random functions. To read a notification from your watch, just because you don´t want to take the phone out of your pocket, is simply not enough.
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Computer Evolution And The Near Future
At first, computers were the size of a room, but we needed them smaller for working. Then they became the size of a desk. After that, we all wanted to use computers at home, so they became smaller and they were on our desks. With the time, as we couldn´t take our desk computers out of our houses, the comfortable and portable notebooks appeared: to work outside, to travel with them, to take them to college, etc. But we couldn´t use our laptops all day long, and they don´t fit in our pockets! That is when smartphones and tablets took the daily place on our relationship with technology.
Every step of computers and devices evolution came with significant amounts of new functions and features. But there are still some places and situations in which our tablets or smartphones cannot be used. There is some information that we cannot get from them, and filling that void with a new device would be very useful in order to enrich our life´s quality.
That is the essential reasoning I see for the future of wearable devices, and I think that is why Apple should design a device centered on reaching so many places as we people do, on a further and deeper interaction between human beings and technology.
iWatch Concept: No Buttons. No Holes. No Problems.
By removing or not including physical buttons, microphones and speakers on the product, I took the easiest (and safest) route to make this object solid, compact, submergible and resistant to dust and rough usage. Besides that, I thought without all those components, there should be more room available for battery and the sensors which will track movements and health features.
iWatch Concept: Notifications
Wait a moment, no speakers? Think about it. A watch is almost always on your hand, pretty far from your ears. Imagine yourself walking on a noisy city: If you want to hear a notification sound from your smartwatch, it should be a loud sound, and to produce it, it would need a lot of energy and big components. Both things not easy to include on such a small device. Besides that the iWatch will be constantly in contact with your skin and body, an important fact to consider. Thats why i decided you shouldn´t hear, but feel the notifications. That is right: Vibration notifications. Perfectly submersible and dust resistant vibration notifications.
iWatch Concept: Battery Life
A perfect companion for your daily life should at least be with you all day long. But it is not easy to give much battery power to a small device. That is why I thought that one charging system would not be enough, so I went for two of them:
Solar energy: As the iWatch is designed to join you on your outdoors activities, the sun becomes instantly a perfect power source for this device. Under the screen, solar micro-panels will take advantage from the sun energy.
Wireless recharging: Following the idea of not including holes or connectors, the induction recharging method became ideal. Maybe it sounds a little undeveloped yet, but some products already include it, like Lumia series from Nokia. Apple had patented a few ideas about those wireless recharging systems, and if they want to make another breakthrough product, it is time to include this technology.
iWatch Concept: No Cellular Connection, No Siri
It may be a little disappointing not to include Siri on the iWatch. But is the iWatch really prepared for it? I am not thinking only on the 3G or LTE connection required for Siri, that also should be available all day long (causing a major drain for battery power). I am also thinking when would we really use Siri on the iWatch? Siri has some trouble understanding us even on the iPhone 5 and 5s with iOS 7, imagine her on the iWatch!
Without a cellular connection, how will Maps work? The Google Maps iOS App already includes a very effective feature: we can save maps for later use without internet connection. As iOS 7 Maps development moves forward, they could include this feature on the iPhone, and by synchronizing the app with our iWatch, we would be able to store on the watch as many maps as we want (preferably all those places where we are, or we go often).