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Design history book reveals Apple's first stab at a connected wrist watch

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
If Apple does unveil an "iWatch" later this year, it won't be the first time the company considered a wrist-worn communicator, according to a recently-published retrospective of Apple's design history by legendary industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger.




One image from Esslinger's book -- entitled "Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple" -- reveals a keypad designed to be worn on a user's wrist that pairs with a wireless headset. The photo is one of a number excerpted from the book and published by German weekly Die Zeit.

The keypad sports 12 keys in all, one each for the numbers 0 through 9 and what appears to be one key each for star and pound. The headset, meanwhile, is a single-earpiece design with an integrated microphone that would curve around to the wearer's mouth.

Also shown off in the tome is a monolithic, foldable workstation-in-a-box concept based on the Lisa. The now comically large-looking prototype boasts a full Lisa computer, a monitor, a telephone, and a printer in a single package.




Both pieces seem to follow the "Snow White" design language that Esslinger created at the behest of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1984. The designs first appeared in production with the Apple IIc, and the company began phasing Esslinger's work out following the release of the Macintosh IIfx in 1990.

Esslinger joined Apple on an exclusive contract in 1982 but left the company after Jobs's ouster. Esslinger followed Jobs to NeXT, but did not rejoin Apple upon Jobs's return in 1997.
post #2 of 13

post #3 of 13
Is it me or does the mouthpiece look like a old school hockey goalie stick?
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #4 of 13

The display is just gorgeous and the all-in-one earphone combo mic was obviously designed for the monaural audiophile to wear not only for comm and music but as a fine fashion accessory. One might imagine that it got pulled on advice from legal due to neck strain (since there is no counter weight the balance the audio gear it might have left them open for a class action suit) ¡

post #5 of 13
Just my personal opinion. If there's anyone who was able to out-reality-distortion-field Jobs, it was Hartmut Esslinger. Jobs was completely duped by this guy with his white square boxes covered with dust collecting grooves. But Jobs finally came to his senses after Esslingers brilliant Next black box with dust collecting grooves, and embraced a true design genius in Ive.
post #6 of 13

Okay, so I have this nice, extensive book of Apple product product images… but it doesn’t include images of all of the Snow White prototypes! This is actually my first time seeing this headset/wristwatch combo! I’m a little disappointed in my book now.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

Just my personal opinion. If there's anyone who was able to out-reality-distortion-field Jobs, it was Hartmut Esslinger. Jobs was completely duped by this guy with his white square boxes covered with dust collecting grooves. But Jobs finally came to his senses after Esslingers brilliant Next black box with dust collecting grooves, and embraced a true design genius in Ive.

Did you not find Esslinger's designs groovy?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #8 of 13
Snow White was awesome. Much better than the weird mid-90s Performa style

http://www.forevermac.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/macintosh-lc-520-300x264.jpg
post #9 of 13

It is funny watching that video. all those computers and monitors on the table.  We have come along ways in a short amount of time. All that he was talking about we do with our phones. lol

 

Momma was having fun with her all in one computer (Macs) and dad was stressed out with his room full of computers (Windows machines).

 

They have flat screen. lol

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, so I have this nice, extensive book of Apple product product images… but it doesn’t include images of all of the Snow White prototypes! This is actually my first time seeing this headset/wristwatch combo! I’m a little disappointed in my book now.
Is it Iconic, by chance?
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by jakeu26 View Post
Is it Iconic, by chance?

 

That’s the one.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

Just my personal opinion. If there's anyone who was able to out-reality-distortion-field Jobs, it was Hartmut Esslinger. Jobs was completely duped by this guy with his white square boxes covered with dust collecting grooves. But Jobs finally came to his senses after Esslingers brilliant Next black box with dust collecting grooves, and embraced a true design genius in Ive.

Not saying today's design are not better, but at the time you had the Apple design (your so call dust collecting groves) or the alternative which such in all the surrounding dust and stuck it to the inside of your computer.

 

Apple computer for what ever the reason did not collect as much dust as their contemporary counter parts

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, so I have this nice, extensive book of Apple product product images… but it doesn’t include images of all of the Snow White prototypes! This is actually my first time seeing this headset/wristwatch combo! I’m a little disappointed in my book now.

The prototype section in Iconic is only 43 pages. I'm sure he would've added these as well if either he or his publisher had decided to make the book even more extensive and thicker. But alas, they simply couldn't have added everything they got their hands on.
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