During the opening session of the D11 conference on Tuesday evening, Tim Cook addressed a number of interesting topics, and offered a fair bit of commentary that raised our eyebrows – such as admitting that Apple would likely open up iOS to additional third-party customization.
Another nugget I found especially interesting was Cook’s comments on wearable technology – something that is becoming increasingly popular, with fitness products like the Nike Fuelband, FitBit, and Jawbone Up, smart watches like the Metawatch, Pebble, Cookoo, and Martian watches, and of course, Google’s smart glasses. Tuesday night, Cook said he sees a lot of promise in the wearable space, but only for companies with compelling solutions (quotes via AllThingsD and Ars Technica, emphasis added).
There are lots of gadgets in this space right now, but there’s nothing great out there,” Cook said. “But none of them are going to convince a kid that hasn’t worn glasses or a [watch] band to wear one. … There are a lot of problems to solve in this space. … It’s ripe for exploration. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this space.
[…] I see [wearables] as a very key branch of the tree …
Cook also took the opportunity to slam Google over their “Project Glass’ smart glasses, and dropped a not-so-subtle hint about a possible Apple smart watch:
“I think there are some positive points in the product [Google Glass]. I think it’s probably more likely to appeal to certain vertical markets. … I wear glasses because I have to. I don’t know a lot of people that wear them that don’t have to. They want them to be light and unobtrusive and reflect their fashion. … I think from a mainstream point of view [glasses as wearable computing devices] are difficult to see. I think the wrist is interesting. The wrist is natural.”
While Cook’s comments were not especially revealing, there has already been a huge amount of speculation regarding a possible Apple smart watch (iWatch) – a trend arguably created by Steve Jobs himself as a result of joking about the iPod nano as a watch at Apple’s WWDC conference in 2010. At the very least, it does show that Apple remains interested in such possibilities.
It’s worth noting that, while Tim Cook rarely if ever wears a wristwatch, he is known to frequently wear a Nike Fuelband.