Apple's New iWatch Patent: The slapWatch

iWatchHow about a watch that's also a slap bracelet and links to your iPhone? That's what Apple's latest patent describes. The iWatch slapWatch includes a touch-based interface, links to your iPhone, displays Maps, and even relies on solar power and kinetic energy to help recharge its battery.

The patent describes a wearable device that auto-sizes the display based on the size of your wrist so users don't have to worry about the end of the band covering controls, plus it includes phone and iTunes controls, links to the Maps app, and even displays an onscreen keyboard for Messages, according to Patently Apple. Of course, it connects to your iPhone wirelessly, and the patent also says the slapWatch could be used flat when it isn't on your wrist.

It's possible this patent describes what Apple plans to release if it really does launch the rumored iWatch. Patents, however, aren't a guarantee a company has a product ready to launch. Sometimes companies patent ideas to keep their competition from developing similar products, and some elements could appear in different products, too.

The wearable device concept has been gaining steam lately thanks to products like the Fitbit One and Ultra for tracking fitness activity, and now with products like the Pebble smartwatch that displays information from your iPhone. Google's Glass project aims to bring heads up display-style views into our daily life, too, with its still in development glasses.

Apple's slapWatch patent includes some interesting concepts, but unless it offers something that stands out from the other wearable tech devices that are coming to market, it's not likely we'll see this on store shelves.