Apple Asked Swatch For Info On Creating Kinetic Batteries, Possibly For iWatch Project

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Not everyone is convinced that Apple’s iWatch would be a success, and you can add Swatch’s CEO, Nick Hayek, to the pile of detractors.

Hayek says that he doesn’t think the iWatch will be a revolutionary device, because your wrist can’t handle a display big enough to interact with. But despite Hayek’s aversion to the iWatch, Apple’s reached out to him over the years for help on materials and watch batteries.

During a recent press conference, Hayek said that Swatch has had contact with Apple over many years. Some of the things the two companies have discussed were materials for products as well as “energy harvesting technology that would generate energy from physical movement,” which sounds a lot like the ‘kinetic batteries’ a lot of watchmakers use today.

Even if Apple uses an e-ink display for the iWatch, a kinetic battery still won’t generate enough electricity to power the iWatch without the need for frequent recharging. So unless Apple’s engineers have invented a crazy new kinetic battery, you’ll probably have to recharge the iWatch every day, but it sounds like maybe they were trying to find a way around that.

Hayek didn’t say that Swatch has been working with Apple on the iWatch, but he thinks consumers probably won’t be interested in it if they can’t wear it like jewelry and change them.

Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution. Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.

Swatch has tried to make their own watches with interactive functions for years but they’ve never really taken off. The company even formed an alliance with Microsoft in 2004 which allowed consumers to receive news, sports, weather, and stock quotes on their watches.

Recent rumors have claimed that Apple’s iWatch will debut in 2013, but battery issues are delaying the project. Apple wants the iWatch to hold a charge for 4-5 days, but current prototypes are only getting a few days charge max.

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  • lwdesign1

    Ah yes, another person who thinks a product that Apple hasn’t announced and may not exist, will fail utterly and that people won’t be interested. Of course, the same was said about the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad, and you can see how right they’ve been. What commenters fail to take into consideration is that Apple doesn’t just release “phones”, “music players” and “tablets”. Apple works out the functionality of each of these devices so that they provide tangible value to a person’s life by providing information that is needful and entertainment that can be accessed from nearly anywhere. When Apple announced the iPhone, thousands of pundits were quick to shout loudly about how it was absolutely ridiculous that a computer company could even dream about competing with established phone companies like Nokia and Blackberry. The iPhone went on to establish an entirely different type of portable computing device that’s been copied by everyone else. Same happened with the iPad. No one had come up with a design and functionality for a tablet that really worked before the iPad came along, and then all of a sudden it became “obvious” how a tablet should look and work–and now you see copies everywhere.

    If Apple does indeed come out with a watch, you can be sure it won’t be what people are expecting. It will be elegant, useful and uniquely functional in ways that haven’t been thought of. Immediately pundits will shout how it will never sell, but the general public will buy it by the truckload. Shortly after that, other manufacturers will realize that the design and functionality was “already obvious” and will come out with their own copies. This is the scenario that’s played out with Apple products since the Mac OS came on the scene in 1984.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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