What if you could dim the lights in your room with just a simple flick of your wrist, or turn off the TV you left on in your living room directly from your watch? While most existing smartwatches serve as an extension of your phone, Apple’s rumored iWatch could change the way you interact with all the devices in your home, one analyst says.
Apple company hasn’t even confirmed the existence of the iWatch, but the latest rumors suggest it might be a multi-purpose media controller. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White, an analyst who frequently makes Apple predictions but has a mixed track record, claims to have sources in Apple’s Asian supply chain, according to BGR.
“As an Apple supplier, our contact offered insight into the ‘iWatch’ and described the potential new device as much more than an extension of your smartphone but as a multi-purpose gateway in allowing consumers to control their home,” White said, citing examples such as adjusting the heating, cooling, lights and temperature in one’s home from his or her wrist.
White was sure to acknowledge that any discussions of an iWatch are “rudimentary” at this stage, considering the device has yet to be confirmed. The analyst noted that his conversation with Asian suppliers served more as a means of recognizing the capabilities of smartwatches rather than reflecting what Apple’s iWatch could be like when it comes to market.
“We found this discussion interesting as it opened our eyes to why the ‘iWatch’ has the potential to appeal to a much broader audience of consumers than just another mobile device,” he wrote.
Speculation that Apple will release a smartwatch kicked off back in February when a patent for a “bi-stable spring with flexible display” hit the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That document describes a device with a display that wraps around one’s entire wrist, similar to a slap bracelet, but numerous rumors have surfaced since then.
Recent reports suggest that Apple could be experimenting with flexible OLED displays in three different sizes including 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 inches. Back in August, another rumor suggested that the iWatch could primarily function as a music player in place of Apple’s iPod, but no details have been confirmed.
If Apple does decide to enter the smartwatch game, it would join Samsung and Sony in being one of the few major tech brands to do so. Other companies, including Microsoft and Google, are rumored to be concocting wrist-worn gadgets of their own and hold patents for such technology. The market for smartwatches is expected to reach 373 million units shipped by 2020.