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Would An Apple Smartwatch Benefit Travelers?

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Lately there has been a lot of speculation about Apple working on a new product that is popularly believed to be a smartwatch. If the speculation turned out to be accurate, it could be a game-changing device for travelers.

Currently, speculation regarding the possible design of the smartwatch range from a band of flexible glass to what basically amounts to a tiny iPhone strapped to the wrist. Some Apple aficionados have gone so far as to design iWatch concepts.

Forbes Tech Contributor Anthony Kosner has written several articles analyzing the possible uses of the device and its potential role in our lives.  While some Apple gurus wonder how the iWatch would differentiate itself from the current iteration of iPod Nano with a wristband accessory, Kosner suspects the watch would run micro apps and be used to sync with other, more powerful Apple products.

Perhaps some of the most touted potential uses enabled by a smartwatch are fitness apps and music syncing with wireless headphones.  Though some capabilities needed by fitness apps, tracking location and distance for activity logs, could also be useful to travelers. Wireless headphones synced to the wristwatch could also be extremely handy. It might be possible to produce an app that syncs the watch with wireless headphones and works as a virtual tour guide, feeding travelers information as they approach locations marked by GPS.

Travelers might wonder why they would need an “iWatch” when the iPhone already does so many useful things. Could a smartwatch bring anything new to the table?

The most obvious aid to travelers is that it could help Apple to improve the notoriously unpredictable Apple Maps by providing them with more data.

Most pundits seem to agree that an Apple smartwatch wouldn’t replace a device like the iPhone, but it might allow users to sync with devices on the fly. Imagine having a smartwatch send on-the-fly directions through a Bluetooth device as users wander the streets of some distant and unfamiliar city.

If the watch were to use Siri, users could simply ask for the location of the nearest restaurant or market, provided travelers wouldn’t be too embarrassed to be seen talking to their wrists.

A smartwatch would be fertile grounds for travel related apps. There might be an app that could summon a cab to a desired location. The watch might be able to track a traveler’s path all day, allowing them to keep a log of where they have been.

Whether or not any of these apps get made, or whether the device even becomes a reality, remains to be seen. But early speculation and interest means this might be next year’s hot item for the tech-savvy traveler.

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By Braden Holly for PeterGreenberg.com

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