The Apple Watch is celebrating it’s fifth anniversary today, and to mark the occasion, one of the Apple Watch’s lead engineers, Imran Chaudhri, shared some interesting facts about the Apple Watches development on Twitter.
The first interesting that that was shared by Imran was a reproduction of the original concept for the Apple Watch bubble user interface. He shows the first concept for it, and how originally, the centre icon for the clock lived in what he called the Dock. Alongside this, Imran says that the digital crown originally gave the Apple Watch home screen a sense of “dimensionality”, and the concept shows off this design too.
Force Touch was first previewed on the Apple Watch way back in 2015, and then was adopted and redesigned to work on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which launched the following September. Except, when the Apple Watch was in development, the developers called Force Touch Electronic Touch, or E.T. for short, as it was designed to form an emotional connection with the user.
The ‘ink’ that originally featured on the Apple Watch, and was a form of sending messages to people, was inspired by Imran’s days of practicing graffiti and it’s purpose was to “communicate transmission while making it guilt-free”.
The coolest thing he shared was the very first prototype for the Apple Watch. Imran says that the first prototype consisted of an iPod nano strapped to a regular watch strap. Imran says that iOS 5 had just finished development (so, we are looking at around sometime in 2011), and went to show the ID (internal development) team what he had made. He first previewed the notification centre and Siri on the makeshift Apple Watch, but Imran notes that he never got to show the device to Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs died less than a month after iOS 5.
Interestingly enough, Imran talks about the design inspiration behind the Apple Watch Straps. He says that he loved straps that weren’t overly complicated, and that the loop bands were inspired by the Omega Speedmaster watches worn by the Apollo Astronauts.
He also goes into detail about how they made the animated butterfly faces for the Apple Watch. Imran says that all the butterflies were shot and animated by Andrew Zuckerman. He also notes that all the butterflies were dead and were not3 harmed. As Imran says, “Andrew gave them life”. In Imran’s house, he actually kept and displayed the Apple Watch Butterly on his wall!
The last thing Imran spoke about was the Solar Watch Face, which allows users to see the position of the sun. Imran says that the central idea behind that was to allow Muslim users observing Ramadan to quickly observe the position of the Sun and for all the understand the relationship between the sun and time.
The facts he shared are some really cool and interesting facts, that makes me appreciate the Apple Watch on my wrist a little more than I already do. I have had the Apple Watch on my wrist every day for the last 5 years, and I honestly can’t wait to see what Apple does with the Apple Watch in the next 5 years.
Happy Birthday, Apple Watch!