Move over Dick Tracy, here comes Apple's 'iWatch'

Wearable devices will create a 'BYOD tsunami', warns analyst

Can you imagine coming into work wearing a yellow overcoat, yellow hat and a smartphone wristwatch? OK, forget the yellow overcoat and hat, but the smartphone wristwatch would be cool.

That is what the future holds if Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) "iWatch" project takes off. Images of the 1940s comic strip Dick Tracy definitely come to mind.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on a wristwatch smartphone. The team includes managers, marketing, software and hardware engineers, according to sources familiar with the group's work.

Bruce Tognazzini, a technology blogger and former Apple employee, wrote on his blog: "The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem. It will facilitate and coordinate not only the activities of all the other computers and devices we use, but a wide array of devices to come. Like other breakthrough Apple products, its value will be underestimated at launch, then grow to have a profound impact on our lives and Apple's fortunes."

As usual, Apple declined to comment on the report.

Wearable computer devices, such as the rumored iWatch and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) eyeglass computer, are a growing consumer trend that will no doubt affect the enterprise as employees bring them to work.

Michael Starnes, chief executive officer of Starnes Consulting, predicts that wearable devices will create a "BYOD tsunami" in the enterprise.

"In nature, a tsunami builds far off the coast, spurred by an underwater shift in the landscape, far below the visible surface. On the horizon, you can't see any real change. Only after the massive wave has had time to build and gain momentum does the destructive force strike a coastline. Plummeting hardware costs, market innovators, user demand, and established standards constitute the digital plate shift--and these events have already happened in our industry," he wrote in an Internet Evolution article.

Starnes cites some other companies working on smartwatches. For example, HP (NYSE: HPQis working on a "Dick Tracy watch," according to Carl Taussig, director of information surfaces at HP Labs. In addition, Sony already has an Android-based SmartWatch for purchase.

A recent report by Juniper Research predicted that enterprise use of mobile wearable devices will increase. Enterprise wearables include mobile devices such as terminal devices, scanners, display devices, as well as tracking devices used for logistics, factory management and production houses.

One can imagine that Apple is not going to release just another smart watch. Given its record of mobile device innovation, it is likely that Apple's "iWatch" will put Dick Tracy to shame.

For more:
- read the Bloomberg report
- see Starnes' article
- check out Sony's SmartWatch

Related Articles:
Juniper: Mobile wearable device use in enterprise on the rise
Tattoos with wearable electronics and other predictions from Gartner