Apple Hits a Few Road Bumps in its "iWatch" Production
A recently published report detailed the long and arduous road Apple’s supposed iWatch is moving down as it moved from an idea to a consumer product. It’s clearly that Apple has run into a number of challenges when it comes to bringing the so-called “iWatch” to the market. Most appear to be in line with any new product launch but the publication provides a number of interesting tidbits including the attrition of former Apple iPod software director and current Nest employee, Bryan James, who reportedly worked on the project.
The current Vice President of New Product Engineering at Nest Labs, James, was previously a director for Apple’s iPod Software team, a position which he held for over seven years. It’s unclear what role James played in iWatch development but sources are claiming the software engineer was involved with various wearable programs including an Apple-made offering that would have allowed iPod nano users to wear the device as a wristwatch.
James is also listed on several Apple patents, most of which relate to user interface designs and backend technology. Specifically, The Information, points to a property “associated with a watch-like device” that also lists Nest cofounder Matt Rogers as an inventor. The pair of names show up together only once in the US Patent and Trademark Officer’s database. Apple’s US Patent No. 8,380,507 covers voice activated features in a portable device that could theoretically be used in an iWatch, though no mention of "watches" or "wearables" is made.
With a supposedly growing team dedicated to the iWatch project, James may not have been a key player but his background is interesting nonetheless. As of February 2013, Apple claimed to have a 100-person team working on the initiative but was also “aggressively hiring” additional personnel in the intervening months.
The report reiterated prior reports regarding Apple’s production struggles thus far, including issues with screen technology. To this point, the publication cites people who are familiar with the project as saying Apple considered moving to a different display implementation late last year due to battery issues with older designs. Although already a foregone conclusion, the report looks ahead and how the iWatch would perform in the coming tide of wearable devices. At this year’s CES, a large number of wearables have been announced, many from big name tech companies such as LG and Intel. As of right now, it remains to be seen if the market will take to the new form factor devices initially made popular by wristbands from Nike, Jawbone and Fitbit among others. As with previous CES events, Apple seems to once again be the elephant in the room that isn’t even there.
We’ll have to wait and see what move Apple makes in response to the recent reports and announcements.
Source: The Information