Tuesday 2 July 2013

Apple applies for 'iWatch' trademark in Japan

Adding fuel to rumours that the iWatch could be coming soon, Apple Inc. has filed a trademark for “iWatch” in Japan. Even while the Cupertino-based company has kept mum about the existence of such a watch, this application more or less confirms that Apple has a wearable device up its sleeve.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the company is seeking protection for the name “iWatch”. It is being categorised as a handheld computer or a watch device as per a filing with the Japan Patent Office on June 3.

Even as Tim Cook hinted at Apple exploring the “profound” area of wearables at the D11 Conference last month, rumours about the iWatch have flown fast and thick. It was reported in February that a 100-person team of product designers was working on the wristwatch-like device. Later in the month, a patent filed with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) showed that Apple was planning a slap-on bracelet like device that could well be the iWatch. It will also have a full-length, flexible touch screen.

Further reports have suggested that the iWatch will be running a reworked version of iOS that will enable the device to allow users to “make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map co-ordinates.” The device is also set to have a pedometer and sensors that will monitor heart rate and collect health data.

Wearables are shaping up to be the next big things as far as computing devices go. The rage that was kicked off by Pebble smartwatches back last year is being backed up strongly by Google Glass. Smartwatches seem to be on every company’s mind with the likes of Samsung and Microsoft too mulling over a smartwatch.

Of course, the scramble to introduce new products could also be behind Apple applying for a trademark for the name iWatch. Simply applying for the name does not necessarily mean that Apple could be introducing a smartwatch soon.

Thankfully, there are a bunch of other reasons why the iWatch seems to be on the horizon, with the company itself dropping hints like a deeper Bluetooth integration in iOS 7 and OS X. Signs point at a smartwatch from Apple’s stable by the year end. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

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