Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the Apple Watch magnetic attachment mechanisms. During the introduction of Apple Watch, Jony Ive noted at the 7 minute mark of their introduction video that "We have designed six different straps and a mechanism that makes the strap easily interchangeable with a refinement and precision."
Even though Apple had first created the iPad cover with simple magnetics, Jony Ive and team knew that such a mechanism wouldn't cut it for the Apple Watch and set out to create a custom design that was secure and easy to use so that consumers would be able to quickly change the bands to suit a particular mood or function be it for work or exercise.
Apple's patent FIG. 1C is a front cross sectional view of the Apple Watch magnetic attachment system; FIG. 3 is a method diagram illustrating a method for attaching a first attachable element to a second attachable element.
You can learn all about the details behind the magnetic mechanisms of the Apple Watch here. Apple patent application 20160215799 titled "Magnetic Attachment" was originally filed in Q3 2013.
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