Apple still hasn’t said anything publicly about making an iWatch, although it has been beefing up its staff with designers and sensor experts who could probably build a pretty nice one. If such a device were to ever grace wrists the world over, however, it wouldn’t be Cupertino’s first stab at a mini-computer. Apparently, Apple already made one. In the ’80s.
Swept away by the sands of time is this 12-key “smart” watch that was never formally revealed in front of the public. It doesn’t have a screen, but it does pair with a headset that, curiously, has enclosed hardware sensibilities similar to Google Glass.
It was designed in a collaboration beginning in 1982 between Steve Jobs and legendary industrial designer and Frog founder Hartmut Esslinger, whose book Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple reveals the iWatch 1.0 along with other retro-futuristic concepts and products, some of which never made it to store shelves.
It was a productive relationship, at least if history is any indication. For all this vintage iWatch seemingly lacks in functionality, at least it looks pretty sweet, informed by a sense of restraint that’s become a core part of Apple’s DNA. The feature-packed Galaxy Gears of 2014 might be able to learn a thing or two.