Possibly and since I want to make the case be warned this post is a tad self-serving.
Back in March I wrote the following:
What this means is that: (a) the fitness tracker, watch and any other smarts you want will have to work from one band; (b) there will have to be a routine charging solution built in; (c) it can’t be too big; and (d) it will have to connect to the Internet and your mobile device for notifications, Siri like interactivity and perhaps as some sort of remote. Google released some new Android software that may take care of (a) and (d) but I’m not sure about the rest. Apple is supposedly working on an iWatch.
Given these constraints, I think it is important to separate the band from the watch-like device. The band will include all the fitness and health tracking stuff as well as a vibration feature (much like my Jawbone Up or the MagicBand). The watch part can be affixed to it and will be removed. The idea is that you don’t need to put it on your wrist will exercising or take it at all. Nor would you wear it to bed. Indeed, there you would take your watch part, dock it and it would act as an alarm clock while getting charged each night. Hence, charging would be built into the routine; the same routine you follow every day. Then once charged, it can also charge the band when affixed again. Apple can sell the bands and watch in different sizes for different needs. [emphasis added]
Today, Apple’s iWatch (or iTime or whatever) patent filing from 2011 was granted. Here is the relevant bit:
The invention pertains to an electronic wristwatch. According to one embodiment, an electronic wristband can provide additional electrical circuitry or devices that can be made available for use as or with an electronic device. In one embodiment, the electronic device can be a mobile electronic device that can be removably coupled to the electronic wristband which provides the additional circuitry or devices. Advantageously, the electronic device can utilize the additional electrical circuitry or devices provided within the electronic wristband to augment the capabilities of the electronic device. In another embodiment, the electronic device can be integrally formed with the electronic wristband which provides the additional circuitry or devices.
The invention may be implemented in numerous ways, including, but not limited to, a system, device, apparatus or method. Exemplary embodiments of the invention are discussed below.
As an electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user, one embodiment of the invention can, for example, include at least a central portion and at least one band portion. The central portion can have a receptacle area configured to receive a mobile electronic device. The mobile electronic device can include a display and be independently useable apart from the electronic watchband. The least one band portion can be coupled to central portion and suitable to assist with securing the electronic wristband to the wrist of the user. The at least one band portion can also include at least one electrical component provided internal to the at least one band portion and operatively connected to the mobile electronic device when provided in the receptacle area.
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.
This is pretty much exactly as I envisaged the separation of the Watch part from the Band part up to an including using the Watch to charge the Band. I was a year and a bit too late to count as prior art on this idea. But I’ll happily take credit for at least thinking of it simultaneously to the folks at Apple or, as the patent was filed prior to his passing, you know who.
OK I guess that comparison is more than a tad self-serving. You can be the judge as to whether it is warranted or not.