Everybody is going nuts over the possibility that Apple is working on a wrist-mounted device, dubbed the iWatch. But while it is all too easy to geek out on the possibility of having an iPhone companion close to hand, Apple will have to nail both the tech and the style of the thing.
But it's also easy to overlook the fact that 'smartwatches' already exist. One such example is the Pebble. The Pebble started life as a Kickstarter project, but it is now a real product that you can pick up at Best Buy.
But one thing that stands out about the Pebble – it's far from being a stylish piece of kit, as Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, discovered.
My wife nailed it when she saw me with Pebble and asked, "so is that the nerd watch?" As I recovered from the "nerd slap", I thought about it, and the watch really isn’t very stylish. In fact, it’s nerdy. It is shiny and feels cheap and plasticky, like a watch you can win as a prize in a machine in an arcade.
Mrs. Moorhead is spot on with her assessment of the Pebble. It isn't something you'd expect to see Tony Stark wearing. Yes, us nerds get all excited by all the cool things it can do, but to normal people, it looks like an ugly, nerd watch.
Apple is – assuming it is working on an iWatch – is going to have to put a lot of effort into the styling, and yet make it both geeky and robust enough to handle daily life.