Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans have been waiting for the company to release the next big thing since the 2010 release of the iPad. At the same time Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) fans are still waiting for that firm to make a big imprint on the hardware world.

Where are the next tech innovations coming from, and why can’t we have them now?

Apple iwatch

According to news blown across the internet in recent days, the next big deal is going to be wearable computers. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been more public about their project Google Glass,  and recently released a new video and offered the tech to early adopters.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not been so forthcoming, but few doubt the firm is working on something of its own.

Whatever you might argue in the history of ideas, Apple is regarded as the real innovator in the smart phone and tablet world. Those innovations came with the release of the original incarnations of those products.

However, neither have seen a revolution in design since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the first truly popular versions of both. Innovation is rarely lost that quickly, Apple has been working behind the scenes.

Last July many speculated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would copy Google and release its own Project Glass derived device. Nothing more has appeared on that development, but there have been rumors of an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) smart watch for some time.

A rumor from last week, printed in major publications, appears to suggest that Apple was testing its smart watch. The latest news shows that Apple recently filed a patent for the new wearable technology. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is certainly set to release Project Glass, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is likely to announce its iWatch.

Which company will win in the battle to define wearable computers? Most likely Apple has the advantage.

The company seems ready to unveil the smart watch some time this year, and its received less general rebuke from the public. Google Glass, the dream of many, seems too clumsy for regular use; however, its final form has not yet been revealed.

The testing models will cost $1500, an unsustainable price for wide consumer demand. The Apple watch, assuming it exists, will no doubt come at a much lower price. It will also be much more intuitive to use, no doubt taking its cues from the iPhone, and possibly working on iOS. That means users won’t have to learn anything new.

If the rumors are true, expect more of them in the weeks ahead. Apple is expected to host an event next month. If the rumors become more frequent, more specific, and more consistent with each other Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could launch a wearable computer in 2013. That would maim Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s chances of releasing the next big thing.