The long-rumored iWatch might finally be becoming a reality.
Apple took the first steps toward the hotly anticipated wearable tech by trademarking the name "iWatch" in Japan, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey, Colombia, Chile and Mexico over the past month.
So little is known about the potential device that it could be anything from the expected smart watch to a television (Get it? "I watch"?).
But the patent filings were made under hardware and software (or should that be hard-wear and soft-wear?) for mobile devices.
Whatever the "iWatch" turns out to be, it will be the first entirely new product for Apple since the death of Steve Jobs.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the potential for wearable technology "profoundly interesting," and he's hardly the only one who feels the mobile market could be moving that direction.
"Apple has been hinting for some time that it has a big product in the works, this could be it," said Nitin Bhas, an analyst at Juniper Research.
And while speculation is that the device would act as an extension of the iPhone or iPad, "that won't be enough," Bhas said. "Apple won't offer something that just connects to your smartphone."
Digital wallet technology has become very popular, as have health-tracking devices like the Nike Fuel band, and both provide rich opportunities for a wearable device.
Apple watchers can only guess what an eventual smart watch might look like, but the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has a team of 100 specialists focusing on new applications for high-tech curved glass, better sensors and improved voice recognition software.
Based on Apple's previous patent filing-to-release schedules, the iWatch could make its appearance as early as the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.