back to article Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

Apple has been granted a couple of patents (here and there) on linking two devices using a moving graphic on the display of a watch. A camera on the device which is being paired reads an “invisible” image. The technology apes the 1994 Timex Datalink which employed flashing bars on the CRT of a computer running Windows 95 to …

  1. msknight Silver badge

    Huh?

    If the technology apes the Timex Datalink, then why were they granted a patent? Or am I missing something?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      It apes the function, not the method. Patents are how something is achieved, not what is achieved.

      Example: Most loudspeakers use a diaphragm and a moving coil to make sound. NXT made speakers that make sound, but hold patents on using piezoelectric panels to do so.

      1. boltar Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        "but hold patents on using piezoelectric panels to do so."

        You mean an enlarged version of those buzzers used in everything from hand held games to watches to phones etc that have been around for about 4 decades? And someone gave them a patent??

        Perhaps I should invent a Really Large wheel and try and patent that!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh?

      Because all old technology was really invented by Apple. As were common shapes such as rounded edges. Yet one more example of Apply taking an existing technology and using it and then claiming credit for it.

      It's all old hat now.

      And before anyone cries foul, anyone remember the Apple people making fun of Samsung for the size of the Notes?

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        @AC

        making fun of Samsung for the size of the Notes?

        Yup. I remember. That was me. But large phones just aren't my cup of tea. As far as I'm concerned, if the device has to resort to an ugly hack to make it usable (temporarily shrinking the size of the screen, moving the screen down and so forth) then it's a bad design.

        For my money, a phone has to be usable one handed. If I'm standing on a bus (for example) I'm going to need my other hand to be free so that I can hang onto the strap. Similarly, I might be coming home from a shopping trip, trying to find my car. I don't want to have to put my shopping down, or fall over, in order to use my phone.

        For the record, I did buy an iPhone 6. The normal sized version. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst phone I have ever used. Whenever I pick up my old iPhone 4, the old iPhone feels well designed, the perfect size, and comfortable to use (if rather slow).

        I hope that Apple comes to its senses and releases a phone with a sensible screen size (4 inches or smaller) in the next refresh - but I suspect, given the roaring trade that they're doing with their silly flappy paddle hand phablets, that they won't.

        1. jason 7

          Re: Huh?

          @45RPM

          Sucks to be a lemur I guess?

        2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Huh?

          "

          For my money, a phone has to be usable one handed.

          "

          I do not like a phone that is so small that you need to borrow the services of a small child to operate the buttons (a practise that is frowned upon where I live), but there is some wonderful technology called "voice recognition" that allows me to dial a number or even send a text without needing to handle the phone at all should I have a hand (or even both) occupied when I need to use the phone. I admit that I have so far never had a sudden urge to use a phone while looking for my car after shopping, so I cannot comment on that aspect, but I would imagine the voice system would work if carrying the shopping to the car has not made you too breathless.

        3. king of foo
        4. Paul

          Re: Huh?

          > making fun of Samsung for the size of the Notes?

          > Yup. I remember. That was me

          it's very nice of you to decide what's best for everyone. are you related to Steve Jobs by any chance?

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        > As were common shapes such as rounded edges.... It's all old hat now.

        Okay Baldrick, one more time:

        The rounded corners were an example of a "Design Patent", which is not the same thing as a (proper) "Utility Patent". Indeed, in the UK we use the term "Trade Dress" instead - an example would be the unique shape of the Coca-Cola bottle. It is unfortunate that the USPTO uses the term "Design Patent" because it evidently confuses people. That said, it does make it easy to spot the people who comment without educating themselves first.

        The USPTO does need some serious revising, though.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Huh?

      Because the USA Patent Office makes money from patents issued, not refused.

      The courts decide if valid.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        Actually they make money with a dizzying array of fees. Granted some fees come after the patent is granted but there are plenty that come before the decision to grant the patent.

    4. John Bailey

      Re: Huh?

      "If the technology apes the Timex Datalink, then why were they granted a patent? Or am I missing something?"

      Yep..

      It's either out of patent, or Timex never bothered patenting it. Cos lots of people have used it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wrist rashes....

    ...could that be from the binding chains of debt users encurred to get the latest iSawYouComing device.

    1. King Jack

      Re: wrist rashes....

      Jonathan Ross, is that you? What are these washes you speak of?

    2. Thorne

      Re: wrist rashes....

      No they're just wearing them wrong........... (Apple's usual excuse)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to wear a watch

    Ah! I see. It would appear that if it's too loose, you need to tighten it. Blimey.

    I wish someone had told me that sooner. I've been wondering for years why my trousers keep falling down, and I keep getting arrested. If only there had been this level of information available when I bought my belt.

    1. Darryl

      Re: How to wear a watch

      Shoulda bought the iBelt

      1. Vince

        Re: How to wear a watch

        No Darryl, we're not prefixing stuff with an i now, so whilst iBelt makes some sense, it'd now be Belt Sport, Belt and Belt Edition.

        The sport belt rather than the er, belt being vaguely sensible price wise, but still ridiculous. Yes, even though normally the 'sport' version isn't normally the entry level version.

        You were naming it wrong, we've got a guide on how to correctly name our products too.

        1. Paul

          Re: How to wear a watch

          > No Darryl, we're not prefixing stuff with an i now, so whilst iBelt makes some

          > sense, it'd now be Belt Sport, Belt and Belt Edition

          surely the Apple Belt Sport....

  4. Yugguy

    Compliance?

    "The method is to take two colours which look pretty much the same to a human eye and flash between them so fast the eye cannot see them changing. The receiving device looks at the pattern and the movement of the changing dots and decodes that as data"

    Will compliance be rewarded?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Compliance?

      Will compliance be rewarded?

      You are Sunil Bakshi and I claim my $5

      :)

    2. Sooty
      Big Brother

      Re: Compliance?

      There... are.. four... lights...

  5. Alister Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Has the human race really degenerated to the extent that they need to be told that wearing a watch strap (or other close fitting, non porous item) can cause a rash due to the build up of sweat between the strap and the skin?

    I suppose Apple will face a class action now, instead of the litigants being told to fuck off and grow up.

    It's nearly as bad as having to mark a packet of Dry Roasted Peanuts with a warning sign:

    "MAY CONTAIN NUTS!"

    1. Justicesays
      Boffin

      In fact, warning does make sense

      Peanuts are a legume, not a nut, but are likely processed in the same factories that process actual nuts, so therefore putting a label on them saying "May contains nuts" is just the same as putting a label on cornflakes made in the same factory as crunchy nut cornflakes, for instance.

      They may contain nuts from other processing lines that might have blown over or whatever, but they aren't nuts themselves.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: In fact, warning does make sense

        Correct. Peanuts are, quite literally, a type of pea.

        However, you can still be allergic to peanuts. And because they are called nuts, the warning is intended to include them too (buy anything with peanuts and it won't say "may contain peas", it'll say "may contain nuts".

        Be suspicious, however, of anyone who claims to be allergic to "all nuts". Because most of the things they'll say they are allergic too aren't actually the same thing at all and it's incredibly unlikely that they are allergic to ALL "nuts".

        1. Justicesays

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          "may contain..." is a voluntary label with no required wording or separation of ingredient types.

          However, it's use on a packet of peanuts is almost certainly to indicate that the packet may well contain traces of other "nuts", as the label is *not* required.

          A label saying "Contains: Peanuts" and "Ingredients: Peanuts, salt" is required however....

        2. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          Had a package of peanut butter cookies. Had a "may contain peanuts" warning label.

          My first thought was, I bloody hope so.

        3. Alien8n Silver badge

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          "Be suspicious, however, of anyone who claims to be allergic to "all nuts". Because most of the things they'll say they are allergic too aren't actually the same thing at all and it's incredibly unlikely that they are allergic to ALL "nuts"."

          This is true, ask anyone what the most common "nut allergy" in the UK is and most will state peanuts. However from memory the most common allergy in the UK is actually to hazel nuts. The other half however seems perfectly fine with pretty much any nuts apart from almonds.

          And god help you if your other half is allergic to brazil nuts and you fancy a bit of nookie after polishing off the chocolate coated brazils you got for Xmas.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: In fact, warning does make sense

        Warning on a "cheap" packet of crisps I encountered once:

        "Recipe: No Nuts

        Factory: No Nuts

        Cannot Guarantee No Nuts"

        Sometimes I think the message "May contain Nuts" pertains more to civilisation, not to any particular foodstuff.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          Be properly specific.

          This product was packed in an environment that contained a fastening device with an internal screw thread that isn't a legume/pea/bean of any description.

        2. Michael Thibault
          Holmes

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          It makes a lot of sense to require that every mirror be etched with the warning, too.

          Just to be safe.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          That warning is probably there because they can't guarantee that the ingredients didn't come into contact with nuts at some point along the supply chain. Yes it seems silly but some people really are that sensitive to nuts and being absolutely sure there isn't one nut hiding somewhere in your 100 ton delivery of potatoes is hard.

      3. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Re: In fact, warning does make sense

        "Peanuts are a legume, not a nut,"

        This is true, or not true, depending on whether you are talking to a botanist or a chef.

        In botany, peanuts are, indeed, legumes and not nuts. A whole bunch of things we call nuts are not nuts from the botanical point of view, just as strawberries aren't berries, but grapes, tomatoes and oranges are.

        In cooking, however, most of those things we call nuts are nuts, and some berries, e.g. tomatoes, aren't even fruit.

        1. thesykes

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          "strawberries aren't berries"

          To be honest, I'd say that the scientist who came up with the definition of berries that excludes strawberries, raspberries etc., got the definition wrong.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: In fact, warning does make sense

            >"strawberries aren't berries"

            It used to be that plants were named for their properties, not their relation to each other. This is why New World chillis are called peppers, even though they are not related to the Old World spice 'pepper' in any way.

        2. nematoad Silver badge

          Re: In fact, warning does make sense

          "some berries, e.g. tomatoes, aren't even fruit."

          Yes they are, it's just that they are not sweet.

          By your argument avocados would not qualify as fruit either.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Quite. This is not specific to any specific watch brand, Apple included. The material used and the fit of the strap are factors.

      Conventional watch straps are available in materials including titanium, gold, stainless steel, ceramics, leather, Kevlar, cotton, Nylon, rubber, silicone etc.

      YMMV. Nothing new here.

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re Quite

        > "Quite. This is not specific to any specific watch brand "

        The Apple watch could well be worse than most others since it is going to be an active heat source and therefore cause more sweat to build up.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I bought a honey-glazed rack of ribs from the supermarket not long ago, in big letters on the back (yes, you guessed it) - "Warning, may contain bones." You don't fucking say, it'd be a piss poor rack of ribs if it didn't.

      As a wise man once said, "I'm not suggesting we kill all stupid people, just take the warning labels off stuff and let Darwin get to work."

      1. Thorne

        " I bought a honey-glazed rack of ribs from the supermarket not long ago, in big letters on the back (yes, you guessed it) - "Warning, may contain bones." You don't fucking say, it'd be a piss poor rack of ribs if it didn't."

        Saw a packet of peanuts with a warning "May contain nuts"

    4. Yugguy

      Exactly - my missus has known since she first started wearing watches and bracelets, over 20 years ago, that certain alloys give her a rash.

      Mind you this could be just a ruse as pure silver and gold are fine she tells me.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        I have a bunch of those little milk carton thingies in my office.

        "Whole Milk"

        "Contains Milk".

        Actually, it only "contains" in the mathematical sense - because it is entire, 100%, whole milk. It doesn't "contain" milk. It *IS* milk. There's nothing else in there BUT milk.

        But still, on a lid the size of a 20p coin, it has both Whole Milk and Contains Milk written on it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        content

        that would be the Nickel present I assume

  6. TheProf
    Flame

    Uncomfortable

    "to achieve a snug, yet comfortable, fit that prevents movement of Apple Watch relative to skin"

    That's going to become uncomfortable if the watch, sorry, Apple Watch, is going to sit all day, without moving, on the same section of arm.

    I have to reposition my watch, sorry, watch (sic), several times during the hour or two I wear it. I'd go insane if I couldn't reposition it.

    Flaming rash ---->

  7. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Did I miss something

    Did I miss something or Apple just patented a method to breach an air-gap network at high rate.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Did I miss something

      Here, let me take a video of your watch face because it looks so cool and I admire it so much.

      1. king of foo

        Re: Did I miss something

        Hmmm... This sprang to mind... Not quite the same thing, but close.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    FAIL

    They arer Wearing it wrong

    or

    "If someone can make it go wrong then they will"

    and the US version

    "If someone can make it go wrong then they will and sue the makers to cover up their own stupidity."

  9. Ged T
    Joke

    Rash reporting

    Does it detect and report the rash as a health defect of the wearer?

    1. MrDamage
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Rash reporting

      On that note, does it detect anyone who downloads and reads the "How to wear a Watch" guide as an intelligence defect of the wearer.

  10. -dp-

    shock horror - user wears watch too tight, leaves red marks on wrist

    I you look at the photos, it is clear the guy had the watch on too tight. You can see the indentation left by it on the wrist.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Its oh so easy to pour scourn

    on crApple, BUT, one has to ask, exactley who did their beta testing???

    Tatoos, allergy enriched watchstraps and whatever else is discovered in the coming months.

    Seems delivering the last iCrap device superceeds product testing.

    1. Handy Plough

      Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

      crApple? Really? Is the school holidays already?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

        >Tatoos,

        Already covered to death in a different thread. No blood oximeter works well through some tattoos.

        > allergy enriched watchstraps

        Not an allergy as such. Not specific to Apple. A sweat issue for some users with a specific strap, who probably haven't worn a watch in years. Easily solved by using a different strap, from Apple or a 3rd party.

        Breaking news: Apple Watch doesn't measure the heart rate of some double-amputees.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

          All valid points.

          As is my utter utter disdain for all things crApple.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

            >As is my utter utter disdain for all things crApple.

            Very well.

            Does your disdain stem from their business practices, their products, or some small selection of their customers?

            -Apple can play hard-ball in their business practices, true. So do others in the business when they can.

            -Their products are actually pretty good for many use-cases. Rival products may suit others better.

            -Their customers are normal people, including idiots and posers but many good folk too.

            Personally, I find Apple interesting because of the unique position they hold in the market - they can move quicker for a few reasons. I am also a product designer - which paradoxically means that my industry doesn't use Macs because our software hasn't been available for OSX (even though it was on UNIX in the 90s, it is pretty much Windows-based these days).

            The reasons some engineers don't use Macs dates back to the 80s.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

        Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

        crApple? Really? Is the school holidays already?

        No it's not the school holidays.

        Or not here at least. I'm guessing it is where you are though as most kindergartens lock their computers down to stop the small children from accessing the grown up internet. Which is what you are doing. But from home. In your bedroom. With your One Direction posters and action men.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

          I'm guessing it's not a kid. A kid would never use the term "crApple" as that is the golden fleece as it were. Something to be worshipped and to brow beat parents until said parent have both them one.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

        No, but it is crap. Overpriced and underperforming. Brainwash idiots by using "simplicity" spin to cover up product deficiencies, whilst working on copying android features as fast as they can.

        Apple watch is basically a poor man's androidwear, its got half the features, a quarter of the battery life (I get 3 days between charges) and a price tag to make it look like an exclusive product. Crapple indeed

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Its oh so easy to pour scourn

      Far too easy to make those sort of jokes now about sweaty wrists as a result of 'too much wrist action', let alone the 'Master Beta Testing'.

      Let us hope that Apple is not working on a vacuum cleaner - the 'suck and blow' jokes combined with the 'wrist action' jokes would be far too much.

  12. Francis Vaughan

    Watch newbies?

    Is is just possible that we have an entire generation of users for whom the Apple Watch is the first device they have ever worn on their wrists - and they need to be taught how to wear a watch?

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Watch newbies?

      Possibly.

      I've not worn one since 1991.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Watch newbies?

        A naked wrist - the horror

    2. Michael Thibault
      Headmaster

      Re: Watch newbies?

      One apparent up-side to the Apple Watch is that the demise of the word--and hence the concept of-- "clockwise" will likely be put off for another generation or two.

  13. Tromos

    Why the secrecy?

    When pairing devices, I would much rather be able to see that there is something going on. I fail to see any reason for stealthy optical connections in this particular usage case.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why the secrecy?

      Aesthetics. I'm serious - if you read the background to the patent application, it because QR codes don't look very nice. That is the reason.

      Now, I agree with you - for many operations I like to have confirmation that it has worked. That is, until the technology matures and become so reliable that any conformation is largely redundant.

  14. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Anyone want to take a trip Outside the Asylum?

    "It seemed to me," said Wonko the Sane, "that any civilization that had so far lost it's head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane." — Douglas Adams, "So Long and thanks for all the Fish"

    Were Douglas Adams still alive, I wonder what he would make of detailed instructions on wearing a watch, especially from a company that he admired so much (although there was a lot more to admire about the Apple that DNA knew than today's company)

    1. D@v3

      Re: Anyone want to take a trip Outside the Asylum?

      A digital watch no less.

      1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

        Re: Anyone want to take a trip Outside the Asylum?

        Pretty neat idea, those...

  15. ST Silver badge

    Your sweating is wrong

    Closed - NOTABUG.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a perfect recipe for an iSeizure!

    "The method is to take two colours which look pretty much the same to a human eye and flash between them so fast the eye cannot see them changing. The receiving device looks at the pattern and the movement of the changing dots and decodes that as data."

    1. MrDamage

      Re: Sounds like a perfect recipe for an iSeizure!

      No, the iSeizure is what happens amongst the fanbois immediately following the announcement of a new iThing. Quickly followed by an iRapture, then iFondle, iSplooge, and iWipe with an iTissue.

  17. thomas newton

    'you're wearing it wrong.'

    any bets as to when someone from the company tries that on with the apple kool-aid drinkers?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Prior Art

    As usual, Apple fans are claiming a first when already been done by someone else:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31438706

  19. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Linux

    Status symbol

    I can imagine the spread of wrist rashes so someone who doesn't own a smartwatch can point to it and explain why he isn't wearing one today. Will the rashes come in designer colours too?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wrist movement

    Is what causes the rash, this is why apple owners are affected so badly...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: RASH

    Apple watches are not supposed to be worn by people who sweat.

    Testing did not include areas with any detectable humidity whatsoever.

    We highly recommend users relocate to selected areas of the country which are certified as compatible with the Apple Watch.

    -- Thank ou

  22. Dagg

    Could be nickel

    The back of watch could be coated with nickel.

    There are some people that have a reaction to nickel that is in long term contact with skin. Had a friend that had problems with glasses.

  23. Flywheel Silver badge

    Water

    "Because Apple Watch is water resistant, you can dampen the cloth with clean water"

    They're missing a trick here - how long before we're prompted to buy Apple-sourced water as the only way to clean your timepiece?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019