The Best iWatch Prototypes

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iwatchconcepts

Fans across the globe have already embraced the idea that Apple will most likely release a smartwatch, but the biggest question everyone has is, what will it look like?

Artists and designers have been trying to imagine the design of the iWatch for a few years now and while no one has really blown us away with a perfect concept, we have seen some timely ideas that Apple will probably implement. To get a better idea of how the iWatch will look, function and feel, take a look at these six concepts.

Esben Oxholm iWatch

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When design engineer Esben Oxholm created his iWatch concept he decided to make it as simple as possible. It features a black metal and rubber wristband. The display is shiny while the body is matte. And it has the rumored curved display. Apple’s iWatch probably won’t be as circular, but the minimalist look that Oxholm achieves will also be Apple’s aim as everything about the watch will defer to the screen.

Oxholm’s concept is probably the closest to what the iWatch will actually look like, though we imagine that Apple’s watch will be more oval in shape rather than a perfect circle. This concept almost looks like a bulked-up Nike Fuelband, which isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Tim Cook sits on Nike’s board, after all.

MacUser iWatchiwatch2

Created by Dutch 3D modeler Martin Hajek, this MacUser iWatch concept tries to embrace traditional elements of watches while updating the technology of the watchface. In truth, Martin’s concept looks like a miniaturized iPhone strapped to some leather, but it gets a time out because of the UI.

The iWatch will have a touchscreen display, however, no one is going to want to interact with the display for extended periods of time. Our fingers are too tiny to hit the small X’s on this iWatch’s screen. The iWatch will be used to display information, but it won’t be used to interact with that info. Your iPhone will do all of the heavy lifting, while the iWatch acts as a secondary display to alert you of the most important information throughout the day.

ADR Studios iWatch

iWatch concept design by ADR Studios.

ADR Studios has made a couple of iWatch concepts, but this is their best one yet. The size of this concept iWatch is pretty small so it won’t feel like you’re wearing a computer on your wrist. Apple’s design team is obsessed with having the thinnest, lightest and smallest devices on the planet, so even though Apple will try to cram as many features into the iWatch as possible, it will also want to make a very small device. The actual face of the iWatch will probably be somewhere around this size unless Apple works out a curved display for it.

The UI for ADR Studios’ concept is one of the most on point we’ve seen so far. Notice that there is a small icon indicating that the iWatch is tethered to an iPhone. The ‘Slide to Unlock’ feature probably won’t be as big as it’s portrayed here, where it eats up half the screen. The iWatch display will take advantage of all available screen real estate even when it’s locked, so expect there to be bigger font for the time and a more elegant solution for unlocking.

Nikolai Lamm iWatch

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One thing that a lot of iWatch concept artists haven’t taken into account is the user interface. Most assume that the UI will be a watered-down version of  iOS, but Nikolai Lamm offers a different take. Rather than interacting with your iWatch the same way you do an iPhone, it might actually be closer to the controls of the iPod classic.

Lamm’s spiral interface is based off an Apple UI patent for iTunes and would appeal to people who want the look of a classic watch that interacts with an iPhone. The circular finger movements required to interact with Lamm’s iWatch would compliment the design of the hardware and you would only need to touch your device when you want to adjust notification settings for certain apps, while everything else is controlled from your iPhone.

The display of the real Apple iWatch probably won’t be circular like this, but you should expect some new UI from Apple as the iWatch will be a completely new device with new functions not yet in iOS.

Just Design Things iWatch

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With the sixth-generation iPod Nano, Apple embraced the idea of the iWatch and offered multiple clock faces and wrist bands to convert your iPod Nano into a watch. Expect the real iWatch to come with similar features.

The concept from Just Design Things for the iWatch has swappable wristbands and clock faces so that users can customize their look. Even if the iWatch doesn’t offer changeable Swatch-like wristbands, Apple will at least offer it in multiple colors. The display of this concept looks too heavy and bulky to be worn comfortably as a wristwatch though, so we think it’s more likely that the display will be built right into the band to make it more comfortable for everyday use.

ItswithaKay iWatch

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For this iWatch concept, artist itswithaKay modeled the watch after Nike’s Amp watch and added some iOS elements. It sounds too simple to be plausible, but we already know that Jony Ive and his design team requested a number of sport watches from Nike to study.

The iWatch has to have a durable design. Unlike the iPhone or iPad, the iWatch must take a licking and keep on ticking, so a thick rubberized band will help resist some of the wear and tear. Also take note of the tapered band on this concept. It allows enough width for a display while also being comfortable for the wearer. The display will probably be a bit bigger than in this concept, the UI will be different along with the clasp in the back too, but the physical outline of the iWatch will be pretty similar to what you see here.