Apples Watch Has Been In The Works Since 2011

Apple / Tech / Wearables
apple iWatch featured

The whole tech world is waiting with baited breath for Apple’s entry into the wearable market with a watch. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have made public the design for Apple’s filing for U.S. Patent 8,787,006 which shows what Apple describe as “an electronic wristwatch”.

Now this isn’t the final design by a long way, given the filing is from July 2011, but it does show Apple’s possible intentions with its watch. For one the patent application describes the screen of the smart watch as removable! Apple describes “That mobile device is a small display module that can be clipped into the wristband when needed.” This screen functions as a standalone device when not clipped into the watch, maintaining a connection to a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

Apple iWatch fig

iTime Wristband

Apple describes having separated the device components. They describe the smart watch as “an electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user,” though they do not mention the screen of the device. The wrist band has a connection for a “mobile electronic device” which seems to indicate an iPod nano sized device that can be used independently. The watch wristband contains haptic and motion sensors enabling the user to control the device using gestures “with one’s arm or wrist.”

For example, the gesture might be a horizontal movement for one user input option (e.g., decline incoming call), and might be a vertical movement for another user input option (e.g., accept incoming call). For example, the gesture might be a single shake (or bounce, tap, etc.) of the user’s wrist for one user input option (e.g., accept incoming call), and might be a pair of shakes (or bounces, taps, etc.) for another user input option (e.g., decline incoming call). – Apple filing for U.S. Patent 8,787,006

Apple have not publicly stated they are working on a watch or indeed any type of wearable. They are also not afraid to file any idea they come up with at the USPTO. However it is obvious that they will move in this direction given the focus on Healthbook and activity monitoring.

Apple are used to inventing new devices and markets to dominate, having the upper hand and many months head start on the competition. However Google have already released their smart watch, and Microsoft are reportedly not far behind with their smart watch. So they cant afford to be left behind.

When will we see the iWatch?  Most think along side the release of iOS8 and the new iPhone in the fall. Any ideas let us know on Facebook, Google + or Twitter.

  Source: US Patent Full Text and Image Database

Image: Featured watch by Gábor Balogh

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