Wed, Feb 13, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Dick Tracy and James Bond could soon meet at Apple

ALL IN THE WRIST:With wearable computing likely to replace the smartphone craze over the next decade, everything could hinge on a new flexible glass technology

NY Times News Service

Investors would most likely embrace an iWatch, with some already saying that wearable computing could replace the smartphone over the next decade.

“We believe technology could progress to a point where consumers have a tablet plus wearable computers, like watches or glasses, that enable simple things like voice calls, texting, quick searches, navigation,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a report last month. “These devices are likely to be cheaper than an iPhone and could ultimately be Apple’s best answer to addressing emerging markets.”

Cook is clearly interested in wearables. In the past he has been seen sporting a Nike FuelBand, which tracks a user’s daily exertion. The FuelBand shares data wirelessly with an iPhone app.

Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president for technologies, who previously ran hardware engineering, has been particularly interested in wearables, an Apple employee said. Mansfield is engrossed by devices that connect to the iPhone, through Bluetooth, sharing information back-and-forth from the human body to the phone, including the Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up.

If smartphones do become smart watches and smart glasses, Apple seems to have the technology to make standout wearable computers.

Last year the company filed patents for displays that sit over the eye and stream information to the retina. Given that the iPod Nano is about the size of an overfed ant, the company clearly knows how to make small devices, too.

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