Apple wins a Patent for a Future Apple Watch Band with an All-New Connector with Dynamic Adjustment that's Genius
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 77 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover Apple's granted patent that reveals a possible future Apple Watch band with a next-generation buckle system that could adjust to any length without restrictions due to predetermined band holes.
Apple's granted patent states that it could be desirable to maintain a secure attachment to the wrist so that an Apple Watch doesn't shift excessively or slip off of the user. Securement of the Apple Watch against the user can also be important to the function of electronic components, such as biometric sensors.
For comfort and aesthetic purposes, the watchband can include flexible materials, such as polymers and leather. Portions of the watchband can be somewhat susceptible to damage after repeated securement and release.
Adjusting the size or fit of conventional watchbands often requires multiple steps, specialized tools, and/or technical expertise. Sizing options available to a user may be insufficient to obtain a proper fit.
The fit may be different and/or may be perceived to be different given certain environmental (e.g. temperature, humidity) or biological conditions (e.g., sweat, inflammation). As a result, users of conventional wristwatches and/or fitness/health tracking devices may select a tolerable (although not optimally comfortable) fit, reserving tight bands for fitness/health tracking devices and loose bands for conventional wristwatches.
However, some wearable electronic devices may be multi-purpose devices, providing both fitness/health tracking and timekeeping functionality. Accordingly, a user may prefer the fit of a watch to vary with use. For example, a user may prefer a looser fit in a timekeeping mode and a tighter fit in a fitness/health tracking mode. Accordingly, dynamic adjustment of the fit of wearable electronic devices can be desired.
Apple's invention is able to enhance comfort by providing adjustability across a continuous scale of tightness. For example, the watchband can be adjusted to any length, rather than to one of a few discrete lengths.
The attachment mechanisms can provide dynamic adjustment of a watchband with ease. The watchband can be repeatedly and securely fastened without damaging the watchband material over time.
The secret to Apple's future Apple Watch band is its next-generation "connector." Apple legal ensured that every one of their 18 patent claims mentions the watchband connector.
Apple's patent figures below illustrate the focus of the patent being the new connector with figures 8 and 9 being expanded and exploded views of the new connector that allows the user to select any length to provide adjustability across a continuous scale of tightness – no longer limited by where the holes on a watch band reside.
Apple's granted patent 10,729,210 was originally filed in Q2 2017 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
This is one of the patents where you say, why didn't any of the long-standing Swiss watchmakers of the world ever think of this kind of ingenious watch band connector?
While the Hermès leather band presented below is a great design, it would likely look even better without it being marred by its 10 punched-holes. With Apple's newly patented invention, that would be a think of the past.
This is one of the things that I love about Apple. The company completely understands that technology leadership demands creative solutions. Apple's approach to product design always begins with thinking holistically and this new connector is something we've almost come to expect from Apple. Think Different is still alive and well because at Apple, it's a state of mind.