Apple board member Bill Campbell's comments about 'intimate' tech have sparked new speculation about a possible iWatch device.
During an internal event at Intuit on Friday, Campbell spoke with the company's CEO Brad Smith about the technology industry, with an audience of hundreds of Intuit employees.
As well as being a board member at Apple and a close friend of the late Steve Jobs, Campbell is also chairman at financial software company Intuit. Campbell has "built a reputation as a chief executive whisperer and corporate advisor," reports Businessweek.
While highlighting that he is unable to reveal specific details about Apple's plans, Campbell told the audience to anticipate "a lot of things going on with the application of technology to really intimate things."
Campbell used Google Glass as an example of an intimate gadget. "It's a phenomenal breakthrough," he said. "When you start thinking about glasses or watches, they become as intimate as the cell phone was."
This year, the rumour mill has been abuzz with speculation about a possible Apple iWatch. In February, it was reported that Apple has a team of 100 designers working on a smart watch device, and later that month, the US Patent and Trademark Office published an Apple patent application that seems to confirm that the company is working on a wearable computer. So Campbell's comments last week have been perceived as a possible hint that Apple is indeed working on wearable technology.
Wearable technology is hot topic in the industry right now, with the Google Glass and smart watch devices from companies including Samsung in the pipeline. Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has said Apple is losing its cool, but that he would welcome an iWatch.
During the Intuit event on Friday, Campbell also praised former Apple executive Tony Fadell's start-up Nest, the company behind the intelligent Nest thermostat. "You would think that people would yawn at something as boring as a thermostat," said Campbell. "So, I've been surprised at how it has done and is doing. It will be the first of many products that come out of that company, which has a brilliant CEO and engineering team."
As for Ron Johnson, former head of Apple retail who was recently ousted from JC Penney where he was CEO, Campbell said: "A lot of people in the industry were really concerned about him being successful. They didn't want him to be successful. It would have changed a lot of metaphors in the industry."