Imran Chaudhri, Apple’s design lead for hardware from 1995 to 2016, dropped some details about Apple Watch’s history on its fifth anniversary. While Chaudhri is no longer with the tech giant, he shared a photo of the Watch team on launch day, as well as a reproduction of his original sketch for the home screen. “The shape of the circular icon was driven by the clock that lived in the centre of what I originally called the dock,” he tweeted.
here’s a reproduction of my original sketch for the home screen. the shape of the circular icon was driven by the clock that lived in the centre of what i originally called the dock. the crown gave the home screen a dimensionality, allowing you to scrub through layers of the ui. pic.twitter.com/w2QITncvHl— Imran Chaudhri (@imranchaudhri) April 24, 2020
He also revealed that Watch’s Digital Touch was originally called ET, short for electronic touch, named for “its potential as a new form of emotional connection.” In addition, the original Watch was apparently built upon a 6th-gen iPod nano strapped to wrist band. Chaudhri said he started working on it right after iOS 5 and that Steve Jobs never got to see it.
my first prototype was built on a 6th gen nano strapped to this band. i had just wrapped up ios5 and took it down to show the ID team what notification centre and siri was – and what it could be in the future. i never got to share it with steve. we lost him right after ios5. pic.twitter.com/j4JJYNIgIu— Imran Chaudhri (@imranchaudhri) April 24, 2020
Speaking of bands, the former Apple designer explained that the mechanism for the loop watchband was based on the Velcro speedmaster straps worn by Apollo astronauts. Finally, he said he designed the device’s solar watchface to give Muslims observing Ramadan a quick way to see the position of the sun, as well as to give everyone a way to visualize the sun’s position across the sky.
i created the solar watch face as a way for muslims observing ramadan to quickly see the position of the sun and for all to understand the sun's relationship to time. #RamadanMubarak pic.twitter.com/4mcmIknqjm— Imran Chaudhri (@imranchaudhri) April 24, 2020
The original Apple Watch went on sale five years ago and was the first brand new product released after Tim Cook took over the company. Apple has released several upgraded versions since then, with the latest one being Series 5 released last year.