Garmin also makes a touchscreen watch, the Forerunner 610. But sensor-laden accessories still don't have broad appeal beyond obsessive athletes and the gadget-obsessed. As Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps put it in a recent report, "it’s hard for product strategists to quantify the value of the data that sensors capture; and the obstacles to seamless delivery of intelligent experiences are many."
What's it really worth to know how many steps one has taken in a day or the GPS coordinates of one's daily travels? For most people, the value of the data is less than the trouble of managing yet another device that has to be synced and charged and tended. In some cases, the data may not be worth anything: As Epps recounts in her report, "Nike+ FuelBand users have noted that they get more 'fuel' points for arm-intensive (but not fitness-inducing) activities such as eating pizza than they do for walking up a flight of stairs." Nike ought to heed its own slogan, "Just Do It," because casual exercise doesn't require data.
So where does that leave Apple? Watching the watchmakers, looking for an opening to change the world.