Patents

Future Apple Watches could quickly be color coordinated with watch bands, your clothes, more

Apple has been granted a patent for a “Band Identifier System” for the Apple Watch. It’s another indicator that the tech giant is working on “smart watchband” technology.

Future Apple Watches could quickly be color coordinated with watch bands, your clothes, more as evidenced by a newly granted patent (US 11735126 B1) for “Electronic Devices With Color Sampling Sensors.

About the patent

Obviously, the Apple Watch has a display for displaying the time and other image content. Some electronic devices allow a user to customize the color scheme of the display, but Apple’s smartwatch doesn’t (yet). For example, a user may select a color for the background of the display from a preset palette of colors.

Apple says that a user may have a limited set of options to choose from when selecting a color for a display. The company says that preset palette of colors may be unsatisfactory, may not include colors that match the user’s clothes or watch band, or may otherwise not fit the user’s desired aesthetic.

Apple’s idea is for the color of an Apple Watch face to be automatically matched to the color of an external obiect such as a watch band (e.g., watch band or other watch band), a piece of clothing (e.g., a shirt or any other clothing item), or any other suitable external object. For example, a user may hold an external object over the smartphone’s screen so that one or more sensors in the device can measure the color of the external object and produce the same color on the display.

Apple has previously been granted a patent (number 11586153 B1) for a “watch band with adjustable color.” In the patent data, Apple notes that smartwatch users may desire the ability to customize their watch bands to express variety and style. Some existing watches offer the user with an ability to remove and exchange different watch bands for customization. 

These images show an Apple Watch band with the ability o have colors and features quickly changed. 

However, Apple wants to provide watch bands that provide enhanced color adjustment capabilities. How? They could include described herein include electrochromic features that provide adjustable color control based on an applied voltage to offer a variety of colors and color combinations to be displayed by a single band. 

Summary of the new patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An electronic device such as a watch may include a display and a light sensor located behind the display. The light sensor may be used to measure the color of external objects. During color sampling operations, the display may emit light towards the external object in front of the display while the light sensor gathers color measurements. 

“The display may emit light of different colors and the light sensor may detect an amount of reflected light for each color, which in turn may be used to determine the color of the external object. The control circuitry may use a watch-band-specific algorithm to determine the color of watch bands and may use a clothing-specific algorithm to determine the color of clothing. The control circuitry may display the color on the display so that the face of the watch matches the user’s clothing or matches the user’s watch band.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.