On the five-year anniversary of the first Apple Watch, Imran Chaudhri, one of the original device's designers, has shared a few facts and tidbits about the development of the wearable.
Imran Chaudhri, an Apple alumnus who now serves as the co-founder of a stealth startup called Humane, shared a handful of "fun facts" about the original Apple Watch and some elements of its interface in a Twitter thread on April 24.
For example, Chaudhri posted a reproduction of the original sketch for the Apple Watch's home screen, and added some details about the interface.
here's a reproduction of my original sketch for the home screen. the shape of the circular icon was driven by the clock that lived in the centre of what i originally called the dock. the crown gave the home screen a dimensionality, allowing you to scrub through layers of the ui. pic.twitter.com/w2QITncvHl— Imran Chaudhri (@imranchaudhri) April 24, 2020
Additionally, the former Apple designer said that his first Apple watch prototype was actually a sixth-generation iPod nano strapped to a watch band. Chaudhri used that prototype to show off Siri and the Notification Center on a wrist-worn platform.
my first prototype was built on a 6th gen nano strapped to this band. i had just wrapped up ios5 and took it down to show the ID team what notification centre and siri was - and what it could be in the future. i never got to share it with steve. we lost him right after ios5. pic.twitter.com/j4JJYNIgIu— Imran Chaudhri (@imranchaudhri) April 24, 2020
A few other interesting tidbits about the Apple Watch's original development process.
- Digital Touch was initially called "electronic touch," or E.T. Chaudhri said he called it that because of its "potential as a new form of emotional connections."
- Similarly, the drawing "ink" of the Digital Touch feature was inspired by Chaudhri's "graffiti days" — The "ephemera was designed to communicate transmission while making it guilt free."
- Apple's various loop-based straps were inspired by the velcro Speedmaster straps worn by Apollo-era astronauts, and were meant to be uncomplicated.
- The butterflies used in one of the Motion faces were not harmed during animation process since they were already dead. Chaudhri got to keep the blue one.
- The Solar watch face was created as a way for Muslims observing Ramadan to "quickly see the position of the sun and for all to understand the sun's relationship to time," Chaudhri said.
Apple's flagship wearable has come a long way since the original, released in 2015. Current rumors also suggest that an upcoming version of the Apple Watch could include new features like blood oxygen detection, built-in sleep tracking and larger, improved batteries.