Recent speculation comes from a former Apple employee, Bruce Tognazzini, who helped design the user interface of the Macintosh.
He believes the iWatch could be coupled with an iPhone to display different information without having to take the smartphone out of the pocket.
He thus proposes the elimination of passcodes.
“The watch can and should, for most of us, eliminate passcodes altogether on iPhones, and Macs and, if Apple’s smart, PCs: As long as my watch is in range, let me in! That, to me, would be the single-most compelling feature a smartwatch could offer: If the watch did nothing but release me from having to enter my passcode/password 10 to 20 times a day, I would buy it.
As with passcodes, the watch could be used in conjunction with Find My iPhone, sounding an alert when a user moves out of range of the device.”
In addition, with NFC connectivity and thanks to Bluetooth connectivity between the watch and the iPhone, users could make payments and temperature controls.
“The NFC chip belongs in the iWatch, not in the iPhone! That way we’ll know exactly where it is at all times, strapped to the end of an appendage expressly designed to be waved around at things. How handy! Reach. Touch. Done.
Meanwhile, our iPhone, handling any necessary communication, will stay hidden safely away, and, if someone does manage to get ahold of our watch, it will require reauthorization, having been removed from our arm. Net value to the thief: Zilch. Net loss to us: A whole lot less than an iPhone, with word on the street quickly making it clear there’s no point in stealing an iWatch.
Of course, not every merchant will accept NFC right away, so the watch, linked to Passport, will also display QR codes, etc.”
Another possible feature of the iWatch would probably improve Apple’s 3D mapping. By making use of pressure data from watches the device could help build an altitude map of the world, Tognazzini believes.
“Using pressure data from millions of watches, Apple could build a precision altitude map of the world. This map would indicate true altitudes everywhere that iWatch wearers travel. The granularity would be several orders of magnitude greater than ever before attempted for a wide-area map at a cost several orders of magnitude less than Flyover.”
Though Tognazzini doesn’t base his speculation on any concrete information but notes that his ideas come from a “solid understanding of Apple, its products, the problem, and the opportunity.”