There's been a lot of wild speculation about what Apple's rumored iWatch might look like, and what the device would be capable of. But little of what's been written so far has been grounded in any form of reality. What do we get if we anchor speculation to actual patent applications filed by Apple?
This is exactly what graphic designer and marketing specialist Nickolay Lamm from MyVoucherCodes has done. He took two patent applications filed by Apple, and combined this with some other information in the public domain, to come up with a possible design for the iWatch.
Here's what Lamm came up with.
This design has been influenced by two things.
First is a patent application for a "graphical representations of music using varying levels of detail" which explains how a "spiral, helix, map, or any other geometric shape or curve" can be used to display information. However, instead of using it to display music, here it is being used as a way to navigate through apps on a small display.
This input method is reminiscent of the clickwheel present on many of the iPods Apple came out with. Add some force-feedback—vibration and sound—and this woiuld be make it infinitely easier to use.
Lamm based the shape of his iWatch on the Ikepod Geneve Horizon series of wristwatches. Ikepod is co-founded and owned by designer Marc Newson, who is good friends with Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Sir Jony Ive.
Lamm also has ideas as to how users might interact with the iWatch.
This design was influenced by another of Apple's patent applications, this one relating to how the position and layout of apps on the iPhone or iPad can be rearranged on a desktop or notebook using iTunes. It's not much of a leap of the imagination to suggest that an iPhone or iPad could replace the desktop or notebook.
This patent make clear reference to a handheld device being "a smart phone, a mobile computing device, a mobile phone, a portable media player, a watch, etc." Apple clearly had a watch in mind when filing this application.
"The broader point of this patent," Lamm told ZDNet in an email, "is that Apple is looking to make all of its devices work with one another. The iWatch will be just an extension of this goal."
Is this what the iWatch will look like? I have no idea, but these renders represent the first mockup that I've come across that's grounded in reality, and offers food for thought.