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back to article Flexy 'iWatch' glass said to be three years away

If you're jonesing to slap down a chunk o' change for a flexible Apple iWatch, you've got plenty of time to save up – products using the requisite flexy glass won't appear until 2016. According to Apple's all-but-certain iPhone glass supplier, Corning, companies won't start manufacturing products using their flexible Willow …

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Anonymous Coward

I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead. Unless your idea of innovation is looking like a no-mates specky twit talking to yourself using Google glass or perhaps mowing down lots of people in your beta version Google self driving car.

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Oh, your just not thinking hard enough. One extremely popular area that Apple, MS, and Google have not invaded, but have tried in various forms or fashions, is....... The automobile.

Yeah, Google has some type of "self driving car" thingamajig, but...seriously, who the hell is gonna buy a self driving car.....with Google driving?

Apple, even MS, is into a car...to some degree, but...imagine how much more could accomplished. The tech's there, the softwares there, just, nobody has really come up with any ONE device to integrate it all at one time.

Think tablet...kinda, snaps into place of what is now a stereo.... Plays music, navigates, phone calls through it, with it, dictates notes/documents/emails/whatever while you drive. displays critical info about the car, links with other networks, got that stupid "On" star crap, car alarm integration, comes out when you arrive...wherever, goes with you, take it with you into the office/home, continue from there.

Get back in, hell just install a a forward and rear camera, now you've got a backwards view while backing up (some cars have it standard now) and can record video forward while driving (again, already been invented)

So, so, so much more....

This "device" is in high demand. People are already trying to figure out how to integrate their tablets into their vehicles.

Some of this, yeah, it's already being done...with bits and pieces of technology wired together. But there isn't ONE device that does all these functions. A phone.no. a tablet.no. But...almost.....

Yeah, some car stereos do this, integrate with phones to make calls, play MP3s, even do maps, but really, how hard would it be to get ONE device to do it all? Not very hard at all, and it would replace.....everything.

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Pint

RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead

You can never know what to expect. When I was a kid a personal computer, cell phone and the internet were all unknown to me. Sure I am only 33 but looking back I can't believe how much we've progressed. And what is funny is I never saw any of it coming. And I certainly feel silly that I didn't see phones/tablets replacing personal computer for a lot of people. Never would I have imagined.

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DJO
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Meh

Re: RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead

I hope it was it a nice cave you lived in?

When I was a kid a personal computer, cell phone and the internet were all unknown to me. Sure I am only 33

So you were hatched around 1980, the first cell phone was released to an unconcerned public in 1973. The outrageously expensive IBM PC emerged in 1972. ARPANET the progenitor of the Internet has been around since 1962, the Internet as we known it now emerged from it in the early 1980's.

How the hell did you manage to miss them all? They were all well established when you were a child.

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Boffin

Re: RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead

The IBM PC didn't emerge in '72 Not sure what you consider a personal computer.

Try Heathkit's H8 or the IMSAI and others which started to emerge around '77-'78 time frame.

The IBM PC was '82 not '72.

Hence the down vote.

And yes I'm old enough to have cut my teeth on an OSI C3A. when Floppies were 8" and only stored 128K per side. (Shugart ?sp? )

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DJO
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Unhappy

4 x RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead

mea culpa, it was the Zerox Alto in '72 which was really a technology demonstration more than a viable commercial product, the IBM 5150 was introduced on August 12, 1981. The IBM 610 was announced as the Personal Automatic Computer (PAC) in 1957 so the concept was quite old by 1980.

Pah, 8" floppies, luxury, we had to chew twigs into a pulp to make our own punched cards from, tell kids today and they don't believe you.

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@rcorrect

When I was a kid a personal computer, cell phone and the internet were all unknown to me.

I second the guy asking what rock you were raised under? Or perhaps it was the south? When you were born I was 14, and I was using a friend's Apple II and pestering my parents to buy an Atari 800. Pretty sure I'd never seen a cell phone then, but certainly by the mid 80s I knew one guy who carried one of those 10 pound bag phones with him (he needed it for his business) I think I first used the Internet in 1987 in a Comp Sci class, and regularly used it starting in 1990.

Not saying that's typical, but I'm hardly a raving geek waiting with baited breath for wearable computing crap like the iWatch or Google Glasses.

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Coat

> Yeah, Google has some type of "self driving car" thingamajig, but...seriously, who the hell is gonna buy a self driving car.....with Google driving?

Better Google driving than Apple… not with their maps!

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It's been said before in jest, but it now appears to be a real possibility - a redesigned and revolutionary way to dispose of human waste.

I can hear the words now....Ladies and Gentlemen, Apple give you: the iShit

(**cue raptuous applause from mass media fanbois***)

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Thumb Up

Re: @rcorrect

"I second the guy asking what rock you were raised under? Or perhaps it was the south?"

No I wasn't born in the south and I avoid stereotypes because I prefer not to make assumptions about people. Free time was spent with my Nintendo and enjoying the outdoors.

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@ DougS

Perhaps Wales, or worse, Yorkshire :) (I'm officially allowed that one).

Being born inthe early 80's I can concur that cell phones, wintel\apple computers, the interwebs etc were all around, just not really with the same penetration as they do now. I had vic20's, spectrums ect from the mid to late 80's but most kids had consoles if they had anything. We spent way more time with a rugby ball then in front of a mac or dos. I think I remember our school having maybe 2 computers if that until the late 90's. Secondary school had a lab of bbc micros which it replaced with 386's. I think I got my first pc (286) sometime around '90. I recall a few families having amiga's.

My perception (and I could be wrong) was that they were far more common in the US earlier than in the UK. Yorkshire jokes aside, there just wasn't a huge amount of families able to drop 1500 on a pc etc, even the doctors kid had a used apple. Darn sarf it may have been different, but it wouldn't shock me that someone born in the early 80's wasn't exposed to much technology for the first decade of their life. Just depends where you grew up and what your parents were like (both money and attitude).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead

@rcorrect reminisces - "When I was a kid a personal computer, cell phone and the internet were all unknown to me."

Hah, whippersnapper. When I was a kid, microprocesor chips, touch tone phones and arpanet were all unknown.

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Devil

Re: 4 x RE: I can't imagine the near future has many innovations ahead

And I used punch tape. So what's you point?

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I don't necessarily believe the iWatch rumour, but given that they won't admit Apple is a current customer why are you so certain they aren't lying about the timeline? If the richest company in the world asks you to STFU then generally you take the cash and hum quietly in the corner until told you can speak again!

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Devil

One thing for certain...

The first i one will be shit, followed by a miraculously revolutionary version 2...3....

4 will be particularly cool I hear...

etc etc, no thanks.

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Re: One thing for certain...

They say it will take until 2016, then in June 2013 there will be a press release to tell the world something amazing is on its way, right here right now, and hey presto they will unveil it a few weeks later.

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Joke

Re: One thing for certain...

I think you'll find that the first one will be absolutely magical, as people will be able to tell the time *using a device attached to their wrist* no less, for the first time ever.

No doubt those pesky rip off merchants at Casio will then try and claim that they had a digital watch some decades ago, but I'm sure the heroic Apple Patent Enforcement Legion will rewri- I mean, "clarify" the history books to show the true restrospective scope of the late Steve Jobs' genius.

I also can't wait for the inevitable "on a wrist-bound device" amendments to patents for every single idea everyone has ever had.

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LEO

With the cash Apple have they could build their own Low Earth Orbit satellite network and cut out the cellphone and wifi suppliers with a unique, apple-only always-on netwwork.

I suspect the RF budget would bugger the battery life on the fondle slabs, but hey. it would be cool to have a spacephone!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LEO

It's been done. Ask Motorola how well that went. (Hint: Google Iridium).

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Re: LEO

Yes, but that was before the mobile data bubble. Motodrama were only offering phones[1], at the same cost per call as Inmarsat. I had a long row with them saying that they needed to be cheaper than mobile, and the cellular networks would never get into rural 3rd world, leaving them a massive market place. The network foundered in the same way that the HP slatey thing did. By trying to muscle into an established business, not breaking that business to smithereens.

In the end I took my 30-ship-1200-passenger deal to Inmarsat. The earth terminals were cheaper.

[1] and 9600 baud modem ports

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Just because the bendy glass isn't available for three years

Doesn't mean that Apple would wait three years to release this. I highly doubt the product's success or failure would hinge on the ability of the glass to bend.

Besides, the rumors about the iWatch said the glass was CURVED, not that it was flexible. There has been curved glass since the first time someone made a bowl or vase out of glass, but for some reason when a tech writer hears curved glass they think it is flexible, because of all the pointless hype surrounding flexible glass. Until you can bend the case, the electronics and the battery, the ability of the glass face to bend is rather meaningless except for improved impact resistance at the cost of being less scratch resistant.

I guess some of these tech writers are envisioning the iWatch as a techie version of the slap bracelet, with all the fiddly bits inside the watch magically able to flex along with the face.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just because the bendy glass isn't available for three years

Thank god somebody else was annoyed by the talk of "curved" glass, which made no sense.

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Trollface

So that is......

1 year for the technology to mature - after all Samsung have already demonstrated it.

1 year to "borrow" the design from another (probably smaller) firm impatient with the slow development

1 year to construct the ad campaign, convincing fanbois that this is the best thing since sliced iBread, and raising their demands for it to fever-pitch.

Then 1 month for Chinese slave labourers to make it (including 29 days delivery by Chinamail).

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JDX
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3 years?

Just because Apple have a patent on a bendy watch doesn't mean they are only making bendy watches. After all, people have been making rugged glass-fronted watches for quite a while.

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Thumb Up

Re: 3 years?

Ahh, this is a good point because it is not about a watch, but a new form.

Currently, the watch seems almost bothersome. Same with the Google glasses. Like the glasses, it seems really cool at first, but when you think about how many people who need glasses that have switched to contacts, you start to 'see' the problem. And that problem is similar to why I no longer where a watch.

Now the watch could be good if it is just a personal interface device for something public. By that I mean, you wear the watch, walk up to a display mounted in a public area, and use the watch to command the display, while the display connects to a public directory via internet or whatever.

But yes, this just isn't about a watch, especially not the one that has been "revealed" so far.

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Re: 3 years?

Say what? If you think wearing a watch is bothersome now, why in the world would you think it is fine to wear one that is only useful when you're near to a "display mounted in a public area" and have need of some of its services. For some reason, your scenario makes me think of what a Sci Fi writer in the 60s might have thought we'd be doing in 2013.

I would assume that the iWatch, if such a thing comes out, would interface with the iPhone or iPad you already have. It would have bluetooth to communicate with your device, and GPS so that it would have the same use case as all the training watches that are out there now and have some limited use when it had no phone/tablet to talk to. If Apple doesn't include GPS it would need to have those new hyper accurate MEMs accelerometers I read were in development a few years ago as they could give you an accurate position fix even if the last time they had a proper GPS fix was hours ago. I have no idea if those are ready though.

There really isn't much you can do in a watch form factor to make it useful as a standalone device beyond what has already been done, not until speech and grammar recognition is good enough. Siri and the Google equivalent are years away from where a device could be truly useful without the ability to type anything at all.

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Trollface

I can just imagine the fuss...

when someone waves their arm in a moment of excitement and immediately slashes their wrist on the broken fragments.

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WTF?

Missing the point here?

It's not about the iWatch which, to be honest, sounds utterly pointless and Apple must be really desperate to put something like that into production. It'll probably cost £250 and just be a tiny wrist mounted iPod.

The really exciting thing here is the fact that it might force foldable glass mainstream. That will bring a whole wealth of opportunities with it such as new breeds of phone, roll-up television sets etc.

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Meh

It's just childish pitch queering to annoy Samsung, whose bendy OLED displays are peeing on Apple's halo from a great height. The purpose of the exercise is to convince wavering fanbois and investors that their continued adherence to the faith will eventually be rewarded. It may also be connected to the imminent arrival of the Galaxy S4. Those infuriating South Koreans seem to have new products rolling off the production line every couple of months. How very dare they?

I don't currently own anything made by either firm, but a bendy transparent monitor might help me see the light. Especially if it could be incorporated into a windscreen. Apple seems to be about fifty sc-fi years behind the curve with the wristwatch approach. It's a bit too Jimmy Olsen.

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jPod spoiler alert

In the novel jPod, Douglas Coupland had an idea for a globe that projected a display onto its surface - I think in the book there was some projection mechanism in the centre of the globe.

I'd love to see a full colour bendy display that could be wrapped onto a globe to make this a mass-produceable reality - there must be so many cool applications that could use such a spherical display.

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Stop

Apple, Corning and Gorilla Glass

No need to wonder, a simple google for corning steve jobs will tell you all you need to know about the relationship between these companies.

You're welcome.

YFM.

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