The Apple Watch looks far more elegant than the rectangular smartwatches we’ve already seen from competing companies, but we couldn’t help noticing that some of its straps look a little… familiar.
In fact, several of Apple’s new strap designs look almost identical to straps from luxury watchmaker Ikepod, which not so coincidentally used to be run by Marc Newson, an Australian industrial designer who recently became a part of Apple’s design team.
We’ve talked before about all of the Braun products that have inspired Apple’s designs. Perhaps the best known is the Braun ET66 pocket calculator, first released in 1987 replacing the earlier ET22 model which inspired iOS’s own calculator app and has become a Dieter Rams design classic.
Outside of inside your iPhone, it’s hard to find a working ET66 these days, which is why it’s so great that Braun intends on re-releasing the original model later this year as an official replica. No word on price or exact availibility yet, but I know I’ll be getting one. Won’t you?
Whenever rumors about a new product from Apple begin to pop up, so do the concept drawings, 3D renders, and mockups. The latest rumored Apple device to get the mockup treatment has been the iWatch, Apple’s supposed foray into wearable computing.
Already, I’ve seen no less than half a dozen concepts illustrating what people think the iWatch might look like. Some play heavily off of the design of iOS, others take design influences from the iPhone and iPad, and others yet attempt to emulate the 6th generation iPod nano, the closest thing that Apple has made to a watch so far. While all of these designs take influence from what Apple has already created, none of them take into consideration the external influences that shape the way Apple designs their own products.
Do you remember what your first Windows PC looked like? Of course you don’t. But I bet you remember what your first Mac looked like sat atop your desk. That’s because Apple produces such incredible and iconic designs that we can’t help but remember them. But even Apple gets its inspiration from somewhere. And it’s quite clearly from Braun.
It’s no secret that the designers at Apple are fans of Braun. Jonathan Ive has even expressed at times that his work is influenced by Dieter Rams, Braun’s head designer for nearly 30 years. In the past, Braun products have inspired the designs for several Apple products and applications, such as the iMac G4, Mac Pro, iPod, Aluminum iMac, iPod Hi-Fi, iPhone OS 1 Calculator, and most recently, the iOS 5 iPad music app.
With the release of Apple’s Podcasts app for iOS, the legacy of Braun continues to live on in the form of the reel-to-reel tape recorder found in the now playing interface. Looking at the interface last night, I was struck by how realistic the design was, which prompted some Google searching, leading me to the conclusion that indeed, the Podcasts app houses a nearly accurate rendering of a Braun TG 60 tape recorder. Ben Lenarts also noted the same thing on Twitter this morning.
To show you some of the striking similarities between these two designs, we’ve compiled a gallery of the two, which you can find after the break.