Apple has just been granted a patent for a smartwatch-type device that features augmented strap capabilities, support for arm and wrist gestures, and multiple advanced sensors. Oh, and one patent illustration called it the iTime.
Published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on 22 July, Apple's latest patent is for a "wrist-worn electronic device". The patent has several illustrations, and at least one of them showed the word "iTime" written on the wearable's curved display. Due to a 2013 trademark, many rumours have claimed Apple is working on a gadget called the iWatch.
While it's diffcult to speculate if Apple will use iTime over its iWatch trademark, the patent did confirm that the company has been developing or at least thinking about a wristworn gadget that could be coupled with both iOS devices and Macs. In fact, much of the patent described how the iTime can connect to Apple devices to access information and receive alerts.
The patent also showed how the smartwatch is rather thin and that the gadget's touchscreen module can be removed from the strap and used separately. The iTime could also feature “additional circuitry”, making it capable of doubling as a heart rate monitor, accelerometer for motion tracking, or GPS. It can even recognise arm movements instead of just taps.
“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),” Apple described in the patent filing, though it also said taps, bounces, and shakes are supported command gestures.
Of course the newly-granted patent didn't provide any firm details about when we could finally see Apple's smartwach, wrist wearable, or whatever you want to call it. The company might unveil it this autumn however, alongside the next iPhone. But that's just speculation.