Since smart watches started hitting the scene a couple of years back, it’s been presumed that Apple would surely enter the market. The rumors have become ever stronger in the light of KickStarter backed projects like MetaWatch and Pebble. In the minds of many tech heads, this opportunity is too cool for Cupertino to miss.
The latest patent to be revealed by the US Patent Office (via AppleInsider) shows that Apple’s designers are seriously thinking about it, but not in a way that we’d expected. The patent shows a connected wrist-worn device with a flexible touch screen display that covers the surface of the entire wristband. If you’re looking for a clasp in the image above to see how it stays on your wrist, you’re looking in vain. Instead, Apple is thinking of bringing back the “technology” used in the 90s fad-wear known as a ‘slap wrap’. Essentially, the wrist band remains completely flat until you slap it on your wrist, and it springs in to a circular shape. To hold it in place, it has a small part of the screen coated with an adhesive. And, the components and logic board are placed right near the end to ensure the overlapping part of the “iWatch” covers the vital circuitry.
That’s not all. As with any smart watch, it connects to an iPhone and can be used to achieve a handful of basic tasks.
With a touch screen user input a user can accomplish a number of different tasks including adjusting the order of a current playlist, and reviewing a list of recent phone calls. A response to a current text message can even be managed given a simple virtual keyboard configuration across the face of the flexible display.
Interestingly, it also looks as if Apple will try and improve its battery life by including a kinetic energy gathering device. Battery life – I’m guessing – is going to be where Apple really needs to focus if it is to release a smart watch. We know the Pebble can last a week on a full charge, but that only has a monochrome LCD based E-Ink display. Apple will presumably go all-color.
While it’s exciting to see Apple working on this, it’s by no means an assurance that anything will make it to market. The iWatch is still unconfirmed, and presumably will be for quite some time.