Apple Watch has been in development at Apple for over three years according to Tim Cook, but a New York Times report says the project got a leg up by using the sixth generation iPod Nano as an origin point.
In fact, the Apple Watch still looks fairly similar to the smallest iPod nano Apple ever created, which inspired the company to make Apple Watch after people starting strapping wristbands to the tiny MP3 player to use while jogging.
“The watch, according to a former Apple designer, had its origin with a tiny iPod Nano Touch, introduced in 2010… The iPod heritage, however, gave way to a more iPhone-style concept. ‘And it’s very hard to make big things small,’ said the former Apple designer, who asked not to be named because he still has business contacts with the company. ‘This feels more like it was designed by committee.'”
Apple improved on the design of the sixth-gen iPod Nano behind closed doors for the past three years by designing the Digital Crown as new input tool, along with new health sensors and the circular UI that has already been ripped off by Android Wear copycats.
A Former Apple employee told the Times that Apple Watch’s short battery life is one sign the industrial design team had the upper hand on hardware designers during development, when the group usually prevailed in trade-off decisions in the past. One example the report mentions is the addition of wireless headphones to the iPod which was scrapped by the hardware designers after it was discovered the feature would drain battery life quicker and require more recharges.
Tim Cook and Apple PR have stated that Apple Watch will require daily recharging, but considering the device is more phone than a watch, most users maybe willing to compromise when Apple’s first wearable launches in early 2015.