Mobile Tech

Could an Apple iWatch Be a Digital Wallet?

Could an Apple iWatch Be a Digital Wallet?
February 11, 2013 11:47AM

Bookmark and Share
Whether an Apple smart watch would be a hit depends on what it could do. Beyond telling time and sending alerts from your iPhone to your wrist, an iWatch could contain sensors that would replicate what the Nike FuelBand or Jawbone Up do. An Apple version with connectivity to other Apple devices makes sense, said analyst Avi Greengart.

You have the experience and skills, let an ISACA® certification demonstrate your value. Our certifications announce that you have the expertise and insight to speak with authority. ISACA certification is more than a credential; it's a platform that can elevate your career. Register for an Exam Today.

The rumors about an Apple iWatch just won't die. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both have new reports out about a Dick Tracy-like (or Inspector Gadget or James Bond, if you prefer) Apple experience on the wrist.

"The company has discussed such a device with its major manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry [Foxconn]," The Journal 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."

Although Apple declined to comment on the speculation, rumors are heating up about what an Apple iWatch would look like. So far, it's really the same story from December in which Tech163.com reported that Apple was in cahoots with Intel to build an iOS watch. The Chinese site said supply-chain resources had leaked details describing the watch as a Bluetooth-enabled device with a 1.5-inch OLED screen.

Could Apple Break Through?

Sources say Apple could roll the iWatch to the masses as early as the first half of 2013. It may be just a rumor, though. There's no indication that the late Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, opined to Walter Isaacson or anyone else about a smart watch before he died.

"Over the long term, wearable computing is inevitable for Apple; devices are diversifying and the human body is a rich canvas for the computer," said Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst who specializes in wearable computing and smartphones, told The New York Times. "But I'm not sure how close we are to a new piece of Apple hardware that is worn on the body."

Of course, an Apple smart watch wouldn't be the first wearable device on the market. But Apple wasn't the first smartphone on the market either. In other words, Apple could succeed where Microsoft, Sony Ericsson and others have failed with a new rendition of wearable technology -- or just with the Apple cache.

Imaginations Run Wild

Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis, told us he had no firsthand knowledge of an imminent iWatch, but the notion that Apple would create a product that would tap into its existing platforms -- iOS, iTunes and iCloud -- was at least plausible.

"If someone were to tell me Apple was working on Tastykakes, I would say that's non-plausible," Greengart said. "If they say Apple is working on a new version of their Apple TV box, I'd say I'm expecting that. The iWatch is somewhere between the two."

Whether it would be a mass hit depends, in part, over what an iWatch could do. Beyond telling time and sending alerts from your iPhone to your wrist, the product could contain sensors that would replicate what the Nike FuelBand or Jawbone Up currently do. An Apple version with native connectivity to an Apple app that runs on your iPhone or iPad might certainly make sense, Greengart said.

He also pointed to uses like authentication, storing passwords and physical access. Apple could tackle the RFID use case with an iWatch to offer a digital wallet. Indeed, there are many types of apps people probably haven't even thought of yet.

"I wouldn't presuppose you would buy or wouldn't buy the iWatch unless Apple actually comes out with the product, which is why people get all lathered up about speculating," Greengart said. "The product doesn't exist, so you can imagine it does anything."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Mobile Tech
1. Nokia X Phones Had Identity Crisis
2. GoTenna: Work-Thru for Dead Zones
3. Microsoft Axes Android Phones
4. Apple-IBM Deal Weighs on BlackBerry
5. Google Adds Features to Wallet App




 Most Popular Articles
1. Experts Say Four Threats Put Internet Freedom at Risk
2. Review: Warming Up to Tablets with Keyboard Covers
3. Gartner Rates Security Solutions in Annual Magic Quadrant Report
4. Android SMS Worm Lets Bad Actors Cash In
5. Aerohive Helps Retailers Engage In-Store Customers

Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  Lenovo Still in Small Windows Tablets
  How Chrome Eats Your Battery Life
  Cisco Woos More Devs with DevNet
  Investor Wants EMC To Spin Off VMware
  Schools Buy Million Chromebooks in Q2

 Technology Marketplace
Big Data
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
Are you getting everything you can out of your business data?
 
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
CIO Issues
Secure and retain skilled technology professionals. Learn how.
 
Cloud Computing
Are you getting everything you can out of your business data?
 
Data Storage
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
 
Enterprise Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
 
Enterprise I.T.
Register for an upcoming ISACA® certification exam today
Secure and retain skilled technology professionals. Learn how.
 
Enterprise Software
Unlock your enterprise data's potential. Learn how in the research report.
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
Ferocious productivity. A fearless team of pros. Find Out More
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Small Business
Ferocious productivity. A fearless team of pros. Find Out More