More evidence that Apple is laying the ground for its first-ever smartwatch emerged today, in what would be its first major new product since the first iPad dropped back in 2010.
Discovered by Apple Insider, an Apple patent outlines plans for wearable technology with a strap – reinforced with steel and dubbed a ‘slapwrap’ - and a full-length touchscreen. Although the image depicts it worn around the user’s wrist like a watch, but could actually be attached anywhere on their person.
In keeping with earlier reports and chiming with forecasts for the next wave of pocket tech, the device is purported to feature a flexible screen.
The patent also appears to confirm that the so-called iWatch would not function as a standalone phone a la sWaP watchphones but would take the form of a peripheral that is paired with the iPhone (or even an iPad or iPod touch) via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
As with Sony’s LiveView, Apple’s smartwatch instead displays relevant information on its screen and allow users to access some of their handset’s core functions.
The patent states: “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.”
Fresh news of Apple’s plans comes after claims earlier this month that a 100-strong team is working on the iWatch, which is purported to run the same iOS operating system as iPhones and iPads.