According to a 2011 filed patent, which has surfaced courtesy of AppleInsider, the Cupertino-based company has long had plans to enter the smartwatch race, with a device dubbed ‘iTime’.
Described as a “wrist-worn electronic device,” the iTime smartwatch has been shown with a square, touchscreen display that can be popped out of the strap to be used independently as a media device.
However, unlike many current wearable devices, the Apple iTime will actually feature a range of sensors and circuitry built directly into the watch’s strap, meaning some features – such as fitness tracking – would be disabled if the face is removed from the body.
Given the nature of the patents, the iTime smartwatch appears more of a glorified take on the sixth-generation iPod nano with a clever strap than a dedicated smartwatch in a similar vein to the Samsung Gear Live or LG G Watch.
While we are not convinced these patents relay to the exact design and features Apple will introduce to its first smartwatch effort – instead highlighting the company’s past musings on a growing area of the market – the ‘iTime’ name could remain.
One iTime smartwatch feature detailed in the leaked patents which has grabbed our attentions surrounds how users will interact with the device.
Not limited to standard touch controls, Apple has suggested the wearable could be manipulated through the use of a number of ‘wrist gestures’ – meaning shaking and flicking your wrist could result in on-screen actions.
The Apple iWatch has been heavily tipped for release later this year – potentially alongside the iPhone 6 in September.
Read More: iPad Air 2 release date