Is that an iPod on your wrist?

I know you’re not going to believe this, but amid the mobile-device revolution of the past ten years, one of the most important spaces in the digital world has been almost entirely ignored.

I am talking, of course, about the wrist.

That’s right: take a look at that watch you’re wearing. (Or perhaps think back to when you once wore one.) It’s essentially a uni-tasker. It does one thing: tell you the time and date. In this world of connected digital devices, your wrist is the equivalent of empty beach-front property.

Sure, there have been efforts. A few years ago, Microsoft launched an initiative to create a set of connected, digital devices that could display information simply and highly glanceable format. The initiative was called SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology), and the initial design for the devices were a series of wristwatches.

Sadly, the SPOT watches never really caught on and are no longer available today. It seems Microsoft has largely abandoned the effort. That’s a shame. Even though the first implementations were less than stellar, there’s much that can be done in this space to ultimately make it a success.

That’s why when Apple introduced the last iteration of the iPod nano, I was so interested. When I first saw it, my first thought was, “This could be turned into a watch!” No less than Steve Jobs himself made this connection, with a throwaway line at the iPod nano’s introduction.