By Jim Karpen on Thu, 02/21/2013
iWatch rumors got more credence today following the publication of an Apple patent giving detail about the watch. As earlier rumors suggested, the design is a band that wraps around one's wrist and that would use the entire band as a flexible display.
The details are a bit vague, and leave room for a range of possibilities. But the coolest detail is that since the band would itself be an uninterrupted screen, the iWatch would use gyroscopes and accelerometers to orient the time or other watch-face information toward the user. That means you won't need to change the position of your wrist to see the time; it would automatically appear no matter how your wrist is oriented. Also, the watch would have a virtual keyboard that would take advantage of the larger area provided by the uniterrupted screen.
True to design predictions, the iWatch would be a connected device; that is, it would communicate with your iPhone wirelessly via Bluetooth or WiFi to receive info such as alerts and to send and receive text messages.
The patent reads:
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.
The patent application says that the watch would use a "slap bracelet" mechanism. And it says it could be worn any location, not just your wrist.
AppleInsider provides details and more images based on the patent.
A patent application doesn't necessarily mean Apple is coming out with a product. Many patents are filed that never come to fruition. It's simply a way of protecting a company's creative ideas should they market such a product. Also, if Apple were to introduce an iWatch, I'm guessing it would be fairly far in the future. We're at a very early stage of rumors, with no information yet percolating up from the supply chain. Once the supply chain rumors start, then it typically takes at least 6 months for a product to appear. I'm guessing early next year would be the soonest we'd see something.