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It appears that the iWatch rumor mill was sent buzzing when a new patent had been approved by the US Patent Office. Apple, being rather quiet on the development , filed the patent back in 2011. Interestingly, the patent never mentions iWatch, however the image supplied in the patent goes by “iTime”.

The unnamed device is described in the patent as  An electronic wristband to be worn on a wrist of a user, the electronic wristband comprising: a central portion having a receptacle area configured to receive and electrically connect to a mobile electronic device“. The patent goes on to mention several features that we expect from a smartwatch. In particular, about “information exchanges” between a phone and the watch that controls certain aspects in the phone such as calls, text messages and music.

The patent also includes features such as vibration, accelerometers and gyroscopes in different models. Wired UK reported several models were included in the patent one model notable was described as the base plate being able to be removed and used as an iPod nano. While it seems highly unlikely we would be seeing a launch of an Apple smartwatch this year, the timing of this patent is a key factor.

Android Wear’s smartwatch unveiling could possibly result into a fast track for Apple to bring out a smartwatch along with its release of the iPhone 6 next month.

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