Apple watch could be closer than Gorilla Glass boss thinks

Curved glass is required to cover the rumoured Apple smart watch, and glassmakers are racing get ahead of the curve.

The people who protect your smart phone say an Apple smart wristwatch is three years away -- but it could be less than that. Curved glass is required to cover the wrist-worn companion to the iPhone 5 and iPad spotted in Apple patents, and different glass makers are racing get ahead of the curve.

Glass manufacturer Corning expects a three year wait before it's ready to reveal a curved display like the Apple smart watch, inevitably nicknamed in rumours as the iWatch. But LG has already said it will have curved screens by the end of this year.

Corning is the glass maker that makes the super-tough Gorilla Glass protecting many smart phones. And it's also working on Willow Glass, a bendy-flexy display that could appear on devices as soon as this year.

The purported Apple iWatch is a different kettle of fish, however, and Willow Glass isn't ready for such a sophisticated design. Speaking to Bloomberg, Corning boss James Clappin says an Apple iWatch could be as many as three years away.

But according to an interview with Korean Times highlighted by Patently Apple, LG expects to have curved glass displays this year, ready to mass-produce in 2014.

Apple is reported to have as many as 100 staff working on a smart watch.

Of course, all of this is base rumour and conjecture. But Apple is looking to diversify, and smart watches are already making waves, like the Kickstarter-funded Pebble and I'm Watch

The point of a smart watch is to give you quick access to your phone without fishing it out of your pocket, which is less effort and also makes it less likely that your phone will be snatched from your hand by opportunistic wrong'uns. The Apple wristwatch is tipped to offer at-a-glance messages and alerts by wirelessly syncing with your iPhone. It'll also put voice-controlled personal assistant Siri on your wrist.

Are you excited by the iWatch? What smart watch features are you watching out for? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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