5 features we want in an Apple iWatch

February 26, 2013: 7:16 PM ET

Is the rumored device real or imaginary? No clue. But if the Apple iWatch is real, here's what we want it to have.

apple-iwatch-renderFORTUNE -- Given all the buzz, you'd think an iWatch from Apple would be a case of "when" rather than "if." In theory, such a device could push computing forward. Users could check messages and get alerts and directions without having to whip out their iPhones. (And Dick Tracy would be spinning in his grave.) Here's our quick list of features we'd like to see find their way into the still mythical device.

Device pairing. Apple (AAPL) was recently granted a patent for a technology that would allow the two-way transmission of data between a portable media device and an accessory. While most Apple patents never see reality, this one opens the door to a watch that pairs with an iPhone so users could say, view messages, calendar events, Facebook (FB) notifications, or get turn-by-turn directions.

Accelerometer. Imagine what an accelerometer would enable the iWatch to do. Given popular bracelets like Jawbone's Up and the Nike+ (NKE) Fuel Band, the iWatch could also be a similar health device, keeping track of things like steps taken and calories burned.

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Curved display. Another patent Apple filed in 2011 reveals the company is working on a flexible screen wrist band with a touch-sensitive curved display "across a portion of the wearable video device where the flexible display overlaps itself." Sure, it'd be an aesthetic thing, but a curved high-resolution display would be -- for lack of a better word -- hot.

Rechargeable battery. Chances are an iWatch wouldn't run for long on conventional watch batteries, so we hope Apple finds a way to make it rechargeable via Lightning cord or even partly by wrist movements like today's kinetic watches. Equally as important: at least a full-day of battery life in between charges.

All kinds of sizes. In this case, one size might not fit all. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote recently that a wearable computer could prove more popular with men than women if designed on the larger or chunkier side. "It is less likely women will embrace them given women's watches tend to be smaller with a greater emphasis on fashion," explained Munster. Whether or not that's true, Munster sort of has a point: The iWatch may have to come in different flavors to cater to different people. A phone is one thing. But something you strap to your wrist? That's a sartorial statement.

What do you think? What would you like to see in the iWatch?

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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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