We’ve been hearing about an Apple smartwatch for at least the last two years, but last year’s rising rumors about an Apple iWatch started the entire rumor mill. Now, a year later, many Apple users are wondering, “Will Apple do it this year? Will Apple finally release an iWatch?”
We know some things that Apple’s been up to, such as hiring medical researchers, talking with the FDA about medical solutions last December (which many chalk up to the Health and HealthKit apps introduced at WWDC 2014), and implementing health information into its Health and HealthKit apps. We’ve seen iWatch renders show the same apps that’re currently scheduled to arrive in iOS 8. Apple’s even teamed up with Johns Hopkins, The Mayo Clinic, Duke Health, and a number of other top medical centers around the country to make sure that your Health and HealthKit information can be sent to doctors in case you have a medical emergency that warrants a phone call or possible house visit.
And yet, despite all of this, we’ve yet to see Apple make any announcements about an iWatch. If the latest patent from Apple says anything, it’s that Apple may bring an iWatch to market before answering the question.
A 2011 patent filed by Cupertino was approved this week by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), with the patent making the case for an “iTime” smartwatch. The iTime smartwatch involves making and receiving phone calls, not to mention notifications, and includes information about a GPS receiver and transmitter, accelerometer, and a sensor that’d respond to arm or wrist gestures.
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Of notable importance in the iTime iWatch patent is the music playback feature – signaling that Apple intends to supply a feature that’s currently found in Samsung’s Gear 2 (and has been transported to the first-generation Galaxy Gear via Samsung’s latest Tizen update). It’d likely allow iWatch users to play their music on their wrist without needing their iPhone – or without having to pull out their iPhone while exercising to change their music. While the iTime iWatch patent doesn’t specify it, Apple could very well provide a media controller on the wrist so that an iWatch user’s exercise isn’t interrupted by pulling out his or her smartphone, changing the song, then placing the iPhone back into his or her pocket.
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Apple wants to experiment with gesture motions in its iWatch, seeing that Apple devotes a paragraph (at least) to using the words “gesture” and “user’s wrist” in close proximity. Cupertino’s patent says that one could use a horizontal gesture to accept an incoming call, a vertical gesture to decline an incoming call (and so on). “Bounces,” “shakes,” and “taps” are motions and user gestures included in the patent.
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As with most patents, Apple may decide to wait on this one – but we here at Inferse believe to the contrary. After all, Apple filed its lightning connector cable patent in the same year in which it unveiled a new iPhone (a few months after patent approval), and, with all of its medical work as of late, we think that the once-fabled iWatch already has a prototype – and is headed to a wrist near you this September.