Apple 'iTime' Patent Describes Modular Wearable - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
04:46 PM
Connect Directly

Apple 'iTime' Patent Describes Modular Wearable

"Electronic wristband" might work with swappable modules as Apple appears to be thinking beyond the smartwatch for its first wearable.

probably be a better way to manage battery life than periodically removing a module for charging and not having access to its communication capabilities.

The modules for Apple's electronic wristband could include: an updated iPod Nano, a fitness module, a health module, an authentication and identity module, a notification module, a personal security module, and devices that mix and match these and other functions. The hardware could consist of some or all of the following: a touch-sensitive screen, an audio jack, a speaker, a microphone, an accelerometer, an antenna, a GPS receiver, a gyroscope, a haptic feedback device, a wireless communication transceiver, and sensors that measure proximity, biometrics, or force.

Apple's patent and illustrations suggest the company has reimagined its digital hub strategy for wearables. One drawing shows Apple's electronic wristband with three lines radiating outward, to a desktop computer, a portable computer, and a mobile phone.

Apple presented a conceptually similar graphic way back at Macworld 2001 with the debut of its digital hub strategy (see above). In that instance, the Mac rather than the wristband stood at the center. But Apple's approach to hardware remains the same: Make its devices complement one another so the whole ecosystem has more value than a similar set of devices from several different vendors.

Of course, technology has changed since 2001 and wireless connectivity between devices obviates the need to have a central hub with hardwired connections to peripherals. If there is a central hub today, it's iCloud. But Apple's electronic wristband can be expected to serve as a communications control point, routing messages, alerts, and notifications to and from edge devices and iCloud.

Apple is expected to introduce a wearable device this fall. 

In its ninth year, Interop New York (Sept. 29 to Oct. 3) is the premier event for the Northeast IT market. Strongly represented vertical industries include financial services, government, and education. Join more than 5,000 attendees to learn about IT leadership, cloud, collaboration, infrastructure, mobility, risk management and security, and SDN, as well as explore 125 exhibitors' offerings. Register with Discount Code MPIWK to save $200 off Total Access & Conference Passes.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

2 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2014 | 10:21:56 AM
This is the ridiculously generic patent filing that Apple has been doing for years. They make it so wide open that they can sick their lawyers on anyone who even approaches the concept. For a company who uses marketing fluff to talk about innovation and creativity, they sure are good at stifling it.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll