Forget one Apple Watch. Apple wants you to use multiple versions of its smartwatch. The tech giant has been granted a patent (number 9,838,526) for switching between watches or other accessories.
The invention involves systems and methods for allowing a user to switch between watches that have been paired with a device such as an iPhone. In one embodiment, the watches automatically detect a removal of a first watch from a user’s wrist and an attachment of a second watch to the user’s wrist.
Messages from the watches are transmitted to the device to allow the device to switch the active watch from the first watch to the second watch. The switch can occur while the device is in a locked state, and the device can synchronize the second watch with data received from the first watch.
In the patent info, Apple notes that watches and fitness trackers can be paired, typically though Bluetooth wireless communication, with a companion device to provide health tracking functions and potentially other capabilities. For example, a Fitbit device or an Apple Watch can gather health data through one or more sensors and then transmit this health data to the companion device which can be a data processing system such as a smartphone or tablet computer or laptop computer, etc. An Apple Watch can also provide other functions such as notifications of messages, emails, voicemails, etc. and many other functions which can be provided by apps that execute on the watch. So perhaps Apple hopes you’ll have one Apple Watch for exercising and another for your other daily activities.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.