Sometimes a new rumor is so wild that it captures your imagination and makes you wonder if it could actually come to pass. A rumor out this morning states that a new smartwatch from Michael Bastian, an American fashion designer known for his namesake label, Michael Bastian, and his work for brands such as GANT, will actually come with iOS and Android compatibility. This could mean that there's two versions of the HP watch. Updated 3:30pm PST
The part of story about the watch coming to market is actually "news" from Gilt.com. Pocket-lint reports that "HP may be in the running for best looking smartwatch, even outdoing the gorgeous Motorola Moto 360. HP's luxury smartwatch, as it's called, is designed by US designer Michael Bastien. It will be sold through online retailer Gilt from the autumn this year," as we note in our cover graphic (click the image to enlarge).
The rumor aspect of this news story that caught my eye is when the report stated that "this is coming with iOS and Android compatibility. That could mean two versions of the watch. Saying it works with iOS is a huge nod towards the iWatch being an open platform that other hardware manufacturers can make, not only Apple. We can but hope." Digital Trends reports that angle of the rumor as well. Yet it's being said as if it's fact, even though neither report points to any credible source. It just pops out of nowhere.
On one side, this is just wishful thinking and a way for the new smartwatch to get more publicity. On the other side, I wonder if Apple's CEO is thinking bolder than we think. In 2013 Tim Cook made it crystal clear that he didn't think very much of a "watch." You could review that aspect of Cook's D11 interview with Walt Mossberg in between the 19-21 minute mark of the video. It's not my opinion, it's fact.
So while Apple may be still be on target for a smart health-band of some kind, could they also be thinking differently with an open-platform for wearable computers? Apple introduced an Open Project called WebKit, and today most of the world's smart devices run a web browser based on WebKit. So why not introduce something like that for wearable devices?
During this year's WWDC, Apple introduced "HomeKit." Apple can't make all the devices and appliances for the home, so they created a framework for communicating with and controlling connected devices in a user’s home. Apps can enable users to discover devices in their home and configure them, or you can create actions to control those devices. Users can group actions together and trigger them using Siri.
Apple also introduced "HealthKit" which allows apps that provide health and fitness services to share their data with the new Health app and with each other. A user’s health information is stored in a centralized and secure location and the user decides which data should be shared with your app.
So why can't there be a "DeviceKit" covering future wearable devices like smart clothing, watches, bangles, skis, skates and so forth so that they could communicate with Apple's smart devices?
In the end, it's an interesting rumor that HP's forthcoming smartwatch will be iOS compatible. And although the rumor is weak, there's some basic logic here if you carry Apple's new series of "Kits" or frameworks through to the emerging wearables market. Could this actually come to be? Will HP be the first OEM to try it out? Only time will tell.