The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has once again become a source of speculation for wearable technology watchers.
For the wearable technology industry watchers, any news of the anticipated smartwatch from Apple is only growing evidence that the device actually exists and increasing fuel for speculations regarding its design and features.
The latest form of this evidence has now provided more detail regarding a touchscreen wearable connected to a smartphone.
The information came from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which has been a ready source of confirmation and data regarding a smartwatch that is in development at Apple and in what their intentions may be. Now it looks as though the wearable technology – dubbed the iWatch – may indeed come in the form of a wristwatch that has a touchscreen and that can connect to a smartphone. Moreover, it has also been suggested by many that the initial nickname for the product may not have been as correct as “iTime”.
The latest patent suggesting the iTime smartwatch was submitted in July 2011, but it just recently became public.
The filing was for U.S. Patent 8,787,006. It doesn’t provide a great deal of detail regarding a specific commercial product, but it is being interpreted as an indicator of Apple’s thinking regarding this type of device – or at least what had been on their mind in 2011. The description quite vaguely calls it “an electronic wristband to be worn on the wrist of a user”. It also describes a receptacle for what they called a “mobile electronic device”. That device looked to be in the form of a small form of display module that is removable but that could be clipped onto the wearable technology device when desired.
That display element is separate from the wristband, having its own functions that can be used regardless of whether or not it is clipped to the band. Once the wristband and the device are brought together, they become what is typically called a smartwatch, nowadays, which is capable of communicating with another mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, or with a laptop computer. It also appears as though the wristband could contain haptic sensors that would make it possible for a wearer to use the “arm or wrist” to control it with gestures.