Apple Invents an Apple Watch Band with Individual Smart Links that Could Add New Functionality
Late yesterday Patently Apple posted a report titled "New Motion Research for Apple Watch Reveals new Gestures may be supported in the Future." This was the key Apple Watch patent filing amongst a series of them published yesterday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because it covered some of the fundamentals that carry through to today's Apple Watch report. Apple's Patent figure 5B presented in yesterday's report illustrated how individual Apple Watch band links could contain 'Light Sensors' that are capable of detecting minute movements in the user's tendons triggering an in-air motion gesture related to a function that the user assigned to a particular hand movement. Today's brief patent report covers this next generation Apple Watch Band with Smart Links.
Noted below in Apple's patent FIG. 1 we're able to see a future Apple Watch Band with Smart Links highlighted in yellow. Inside each link, as illustrated in FIG. 3C, is a special electronic component that could deliver a specific new function for Apple Watch.
Apple notes in their patent application that "The electronic components included in the modular functional band links may be any kind of electronic component associated with any kind of functionality. Such electronic components may include adding one or more batteries, input devices, output devices, haptic devices, displays, sensors, actuators, processors, electricity generators, photovoltaic cells, cameras, photo sensors, indicators, accelerometers, speedometers, compasses, gyroscopes, global positioning systems, thermometers, hygrometers, blood pressure sensors, sweat sensors, magnetic field sensors, antennas (such as a WiFi antenna, a Bluetooth antenna, a cellular antenna, a near field communication antenna, and so on), vibrators, speakers, track wheels, track balls, touch sensors, buttons, sliders, force sensors, and/or any other electronic component."
So how will this new watch band send signals to the Apple Watch? The answer rests in-part with the band connecting electrically to the base of Apple Watch. In another patent application published yesterday, Apple illustrated the hidden port that we've known about for close to a year now. It's this connectivity that will power the components that could be set in each individual link as noted in our first patent graphic above.
For more details on the first Apple Watch invention noted above, see Apple's patent application 20160094259 here. The secondary patent application could be found here.
Considering that these are patent applications, the timing of such products to market is unknown at this time.
Patently Apple presents a detailed summary of patent applications with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for full and accurate details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 5am to 6pm MST and sporadically over the weekend.