The elusive “iWatch” has been in heavy rotation in the rumor mill for the past year. We’ve heard reports that the so-called wearable computer technology will be a stand-alone device with it’s own mobile operating system. We’ve heard that Apple has had a team of 100 product designers working on the possible product. We’ve even seen a U.S. patent that describes a slap bracelet type device that might be used in creating the iWatch. However, none of these rumors point to the possibility of reality as much as the evidence brought to light yesterday from Bloomberg.
According to the news organization, Apple has requested a trademark patent in Japan for the term iWatch.
From a request submitted on June 3 to the Japan Patent Office, the trademark protection is for a product categorized as being “for products including a handheld computer or watch device.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about wearable computing at this year’s D conference. Cook told interviewers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher that he thinks, “the wrist is interesting.” Of course, he would never talk about unofficial products, but this is more than a subtle hint that the company is at least looking into its possibilities.
While the rumored iWatch is probably still in its design phase, the trademark request in Japan is evidence that Apple is taking wearable computing seriously. We may not see it this fall, but it is probably coming.