Rad concept imagines iWatch as a timeless watch without a touchscreen and voice control

By , Mar 7, 2014

iWatch concept (Gabor Balogh 001)

There’s definitely no shortage of both beautiful and terrible iWatch concepts these days. At this point, it’s all but certain that Apple’s been cooking up some kind of a wearable device. That said, I don’t think the iWatch will be a smartwatch at all.

Needles to say, this isn’t stopping 3D artists from dreaming up the ultimate wrist-worn smartwatch with the Apple logo on it.

But as gorgeous as some iWatch renderings are, their envisioned interfaces are classic examples of form over function. Although I don’t see myself wearing any kind of wristwatch, earlier today I stumbled upon a fresh batch of stylish concept images by the talented Hungarian designer Gábor Balogh that could easily have me change my mind as to what a smartwatch should actually be…

Balogh, who posted his iWatch concept on Bēhance, explains that his design follows the basic principles of keeping the traditional values and quality, having carefully selected functions, with easy pairing with an iPhone and smudge-free handling.

The “hardware” design being borrowed from the Swedish watchmaker Triwa’s Havana timepiece, it sure does have that classic timeless look, with the round watch face and a classy leather wristband.

The UI, however, is unlike the iOS we’ve come to love.

“In this concept the UI does not have a predefined style,” says Balogh, “but it would match the housing. Only the navigational patterns have to be taken into consideration.”

It makes sense to develop a light iWatch UI entirely from scratch: shrinking the existing and familiar iOS 7 UI elements down to such a tiny screen would only serve to confuse the hell out of mainstream users.

If you ask me, Balogh’s concept is the most obvious depiction of what iWatch apps should look like and, more importantly, how one might interact with the device.

I totally dig how he gave the conventional watch parts smart functions. For example, pushing the bezel navigates between apps, with the crown and pusher acting as shortcuts to built-in functions.

Here, check out the renderings.

iWatch concept (Analog clock and call UI, Gabor Balogh 001)
Analog clock and the incoming call UI.

iWatch concept (Stopwatch and navigation, Gabor Balogh 001)
Stopwatch and navigation.

iWatch concept (Heart rate and Messages, Gabor Balogh 001)
Your heart rate and Messages.

iWatch concept (Wather and music, Gabor Balogh 001)
Weather and Music.

iWatch concept (Compass and memos, Gabor Balogh 001)
Compass and Reminders.

Looks a bit like the Shine physical activity tracker from Misfit Wearables, pictured below.

Misfit Shine (teaer 002)

Speaking to The Verge about his design process, there was no doubt in Balogh’s mind that the iWatch should work, first and foremost, as a classic watch.

Pairing your smartphone to Balogh’s watch will make the appropriate app icons appear on the display, with notifications, maps, and music information streamed from the device itself. When you don’t want it to be a smartwatch, it mostly looks and behaves like a regular watch.

Indeed, why wouldn’t a great smartwatch behave like a normal watch?

Another radical idea: there’s no toucscreen on this thing, or voice control for that matter.

The lack of a touchscreen would stop the display from picking up smudges from your fingers, he said, and stop your fingers from obscuring the display.

The bezel is key to this interface. It can rotate to, for example, scroll through a long message or switch functions in an app, or be clicked to make a selection.

The rotation element doesn’t necessarily need to be physical — Balogh says he could imagine a more classical watch going with a physical dial, or a sporty design opting for an iPod-esque click wheel.

“I like products with discreet technology,” he summed it up nicely.

If history is an indication, the iWatch will be unlike anything we’ve seen mocked up and rendered thus far. Still, a man can – and should – dream about future Apple gizmos.

So, who would buy an iWatch like this?

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  • Holdi Bart

    Best concept so far in my opinion, I really like it!

  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    lol. Doesn’t seem likely.

  • Jordan Dixon

    “Radical concept imagines iWatch being constrained to the design requirements of 1504″.

    I mean, this thing is pretty and all, but to have to restrict what you can do on a wrist-stap computer, just so it resembles the design of a watch that was invented 500 years ago is pretty stupid.

    • pegger1

      How does wrist strap restrict what the computer can do? Unless you’re hoping for a screen that wraps all the way around your wrist.

      • Jordan Dixon

        I don’t mean the wrist strap, that’s fine. I mean using a circular display, with knobs so you don’t need to touchscreen, is forcing you to restrict what you can do. The functionality of a product shouldn’t be limited just so it fits a certain design. The design should change according to the functionality.

        Like it shouldn’t be “Oh let’s not have a touchscreen because that leaves fingerprints”. It should be “how can we make a touchscreen that doesn’t leave fingerprints”.

      • iosPixel

        That there would be innovation. I agree.

  • jocastro

    yeah i doubt they even have the tech to make this lol

  • Framboogle

    iWatch actually looks nothing like this.

  • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

    It looks nice and all but this is not realistic for one main reason: watches similar to the one used in this concept are fashion accessories that are status symbols. Status symbols make statements about who were are. People who wear these kind of watches do not expect or want to see someone else wear the same watch.

    Besides, not everybody can or would be willing to wear this. I know I wouldn’t. Even though I find it nice looking, this simply isn’t my style at all.

    The iWatch will have this great problem to overcome: how to make a wearable as close as possible to a fashion accessory, while still giving it mass appeal?

    At the end of the day, I understand this is just a concept, but this is probably one of the most unrealistic ones I’ve seen so far. I’m not even mentioning the technological limitations that would be hit if Apple were to implement something like this.

    • Domodo

      So how is this concept different than an iPhone, iPad or a MacBook Pro? You’re saying that Paris Hilton has an iPhone because she prefers iCloud services integration over Google Drive? Please… That is what is great about Apple’s design language.

      Apple faced many limitations when it came to the Mac Pro, yet, they pulled it off magnificently. The same goes for the Retina MacBooks. I couldn’t believe they could smash so many pixels into a display, yet, here am I looking at one.

      If nothing, this is one of the most down-to-Earth iWatch designs I’ve seen so far. I haven’t yet seen a circular display, but if Apple could pull this off, it would be a game changer.

      • http://www.idownloadblog.com Sebastien

        I am not really sure what point you are trying to make. Paris Hilton doesn’t have many options when it comes to smartphone. However, when it comes to watches, she has tons and tons of high end options. And because a watch is a fashion accessory, Paris Hilton might not want to wear the exact same watch as 4 million other people.

    • Matt Taylor

      Why? Because it doesn’t look like it has come from a Chinese production line… A wearable should follow the style of just that, it shouldn’t look like a piece of technology on your arm! I love the look of current tech including Apple tech but not attached to my body! That’s just ridiculous! Do you want to see a world in which everybody is wearing google glass type tech on their face and bright shiny wrap around screens on their arms like something out of a bad sci-fi movie? And for the record, I love those movies, but a world like that in reality would be very tacky and the class that makes us human would be no more! We are not robots!

  • Matt Taylor

    That is really nice! Every part of me should hate it but I just love it and I think in a lot of ways it looks more futuristic than something that is designed to look futuristic! I envision this on the arms of an advanced race of alien people in a far universe somewhere lol I really think this beautiful piece would pave the way for our future… Rather than the same old predictable crap.

    • Max Jarrett

      I agree, this is a similar design to the of the phone of the film “Her” with the very classic materials integrated with modern technology. For everyone to ‘want’ a futuristic design is fundamentally floored, as human beings we are hard-wired to connect with natural textures & materials. This concept touches on the historical aspect of watches, but also reinvents it to possibly be involved in our lives for another 50+ years. Watch sales have dwindled in recent years since the invention of the smartphone.

  • Francisco Perez

    Wow I really love the concept I would buy 2 of those! Wish it was this one! That is so DOPE

  • @dongiuj

    Dislike

  • Jordan Carter

    never gonna happen but by far the best looking smart watch concept i could ever imagine, props Gabor, you should be on the iWatch design team. This is the kind of innovation that apple was rebuilt on but currently severely lacking.

  • siddique

    i like the watch :P

  • Timothy

    A “timeless watch”? Enough with these misleading titles, I can see the time right on its face!

  • AnArcticMonkey

    That looks beautiful, would get a smartwatch like that. The aesthetics of the pebble are what deterred me from getting it.

  • marco1993

    Shut up and take my money :D