Apple’s plan for ‘smartwatch’ turns a few heads

One of the most appealing pieces of fictional technology that children of previous generations would pretend to use is the communication watch from the popular long-running comic series Dick Tracy. The device also served as a centerpiece of the 1990 film adaptation starring Warren Beatty. Simply by holding a button on the watch, the wearer was able to talk to a cohort as if they were on a phone. Now, according to reports, Apple could be bringing something similar to market.

An article in PC Mag discussed rumors that the company is secretly working on a “smartwatch.” It would reportedly be wristwatch-style and constructed with curved glass with a 1.5-inch touchscreen display that would sync with other iOS devices.

“The company has discussed such a device with its major manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry [Foxconn],” a Wall Street Journal article said. “Apple has been exploring the area for some time, according to the people briefed on the effort, and has hired employees with backgrounds in sensors and related technologies in recent years.”

This would be a big step into the wearable technology market that is only just starting to take shape. Google has been testing its aptly named Google Glasses – a mini computer that users sport like traditional eyewear, but relays information about what the user is looking at. The company plans release them for consumer purchase in 2014.

While Apple’s involvement in such an endeavor is mere speculation at this point, it shows that the company is continuing to innovate. Over the last few years, it has kick-started the smartphone industry, created the tablet market and defined how all these devices interact. It is easy to see why more of the business world is considering Mac integration as a way to improve day-to-day operations.