In today’s world, you aren’t working on something unless you have a patent for it. Apple, rumoured to be working on a “smart watch” of some variety over the last year, has been awarded a patent for an ‘iTime’ smart watch by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (No. 8,787,006).
The best part about the application? The patent request document was filed way, way back in July of 2011.
According to the document, Apple has apparently just walked away with a patent for smart watches as a whole. It’s that vague:
As an electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user, another embodiment of the invention can, for example, include at least a central portion and at least one band portion. The central portion can include a touch screen display, control circuitry and a battery. The touch screen display can be configured to present visual information to the user and to receive user input from the user. The control circuitry can be configured to control operation of the electronic watchband, and the battery can be configured to provide power to the electronic wristband. The at least one band portion can be coupled to the central portion and suitable to assist with securing the electronic wristband to the wrist of the user. The at least one band portion can include at least one electrical component provided internal to the at least one band portion and operatively connected to the control circuitry.
There is, however, mention of accelerometers, GPS, media players, remote controls, device range detections, and everything else you’d either find in an iOS device today or expect from a smart wrist device. There’s almost 7000 words of legalese describing the device, so if you’re into punishing yourself, you can read it here.