The first Apple Watch prototype was just an iPhone with a velcro strap

Apple watch tim cookJustin Sullivan/GettyCUPERTINO, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch wearable tech and two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple describes the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch as a “new chapter in the relationship people have with technology,” and “the most personal product we’ve ever made.” But early tests were anything but sophisticated.

According to a new Wired feature by David Pierce, the first prototype was nothing but an iPhone strapped to the user’s wrist with velcro.

The iPhone screen would then show a simulation of the Apple Watch’s in-development user interface. It means that designers and developers weren’t held back by the limitations of hardware, or lack thereof.

But a touch screen doesn’t accurately represent how the “digital crown” on the side of the Watch would feel, Pierce writes, so designers came up with a novel solution:

They made a custom dongle, an actual watch crown that plugged into the bottom of the phone through the cord jack. In a sense the first true Apple Watch prototype was, like 10,000 Kickstarter projects, just a weird iPhone case with a strange accessory sticking out of it.

It’s a far cry from the $US17,000 18-karat yellow gold luxury device going on sale in selected stores on April 24.

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