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Apple has been granted a new patent showing a ‘wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor’. While there have been no physical proof of the much rumored iWatch, this new evidence suggests that Apple is working on the iWatch after all. 

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the tech giant new patent today for a device called the ‘Time’. 

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As published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,787,006 for a “Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor” describes a device (dubbed “iTime” in one illustration) that fits squarely with speculation regarding a so-called “iWatch” smartwatch. 

The invention’s main claims, as the title implies, revolve around a wrist-worn device that can connect with other portables like iPhones and iPads, computers, or even the watch’s straps, which integrate sensors and other circuitry to augment device performance.

The document mentions parts like accelerometers, GPS modules, wireless communication packages and haptic feedback mechanisms as potential candidates for inclusion in the advanced strap structure.

Things start to get interesting when Apple describes what it calls a “personal wireless environment.” In essence, the invention illustrates an ecosystem in which the electronic wristwatch can interact with nearby devices like an iPhone, laptop or desktop computer. 

Apple goes on to detail how this “piconet” works. Through either wired or wireless communication protocols, the wristwatch can operatively connect to a cellular or Internet-connected device. In this way, information can be exchanged from iPhone to watch, or watch to iPhone, either automatically or at a user’s request.

The watch is able to receive a notification initiated by a nearby phone, then alert the user to the event through audio, visual or haptic feedback (vibrations). Once alerted, the user has the option to take out their iPhone or dive into the notification directly on the watch, whether it be onscreen or through audio output like system speakers or headphones.

Various embodiments allow for incoming phone calls, text messages, social and news network feeds, among other information, to be displayed on the wristband’s display. Apps can tap into the functionality and provide their own notifications, assumedly through iOS APIs. Data is “pushed” to the wearable dynamically, but more importantly users are able to handle the information directly by interacting with the source device. 

For example, the wristwatch provides controls for a media player, while other options include control over apps or system-level functions.

via :  appleinsider

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