Apple wants future Apple Watch bands to offer features not on the smartphone itself as noted in a new patent filing (20230004129) for “watch with band device.”
About the patent filing
In the patent filing, Apple notes that electronic devices that can be worn on a user’s wrist and do more than act as a simple time piece are growing in popularity. A variety of wearable electronic devices, including watches, have been developed that include components to provide a variety of functions.
For example, some wearable electronic devices include one or more sensors to measure various characteristics of the user and/or the environment in which the device operates. Obviously, such devices may include a display to indicate the time and date.
The smartwatches may also include accelerometers and one or more sensors that enable a user to track fitness activities and health-related characteristics, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, among other information. The devices also typically include a rechargeable battery that powers the electronics within the device.
However, adding more and more features to a small wearable device is a bit impractical. Apple thinks future features could be incorporated into a “smart” watchband. For example, they could have built-in battery packs, mini-displays, and more.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Wearable electronic devices, such as watches, can include a watch body and a band device that can be used together or independently of one another. The band device can provide continual operation of its functions even in the absence of the watch body. The assembly of the watch body and the band device can provide secure engagement, communication, and power sharing.
“Accordingly, neither the watch body nor the band device need to independently include components that provide every function that will be desired by the user. Instead, functions that are desired on a continual or long-term basis can be provided by the band device, and functions that are desired on an intermittent or short-term basis can be provided by the watch body.”