As noted by PatentlyApple, some patent applications from Apple have come up, indicating that the company is working on improvements to its smartwatch wristbands. It looks like the US multinational is trying to make Apple Watch bracelets smarter by adding new features to the accessory. The company has always kept simple and interchangeable bracelets, with the electronic bits on the watch itself, but leaks indicate that the wearable future holds a big change.
One patent describes a biometric sensor integrated into the strap and offers a new way to unlock the watch or paired iPhone. Instead of using Face ID or password, the feature would employ skin texture analysis and wrist hair patterns to authenticate the identity. According to the registered model, the reader would work by means of an infrared thermal image sensor.
Apple has filed an application with the US Patent Office to register exclusive use of the term “Slofie”, which appears in one of the new camera features of the iPhone 11.
The weird term is a combination of the words “Slow Motion and Selfie”, representing the slow-motion frontal videos that can be captured with the new iPhones. Amid the arrival of news such as night mode and advanced Deep Fusion photo processing, the tool has received criticism from some users, according to CNET reports, but Apple seems interested in investing in functionality.
Registration with the US $ 400 patent office defines the term “slofie” as “downloadable computer software for use in image capture and video recording”. The order is still under review and has not been approved yet.
If the registrar endorses Apple’s ownership of the term, it will ensure Apple can prevent other manufacturers from using the slofie for their services. Although not such a pleasant word, the firm’s movement makes sense. As iPhones end up setting trends in the mobile world that eventually get copied, as was the case with animojis.
The new design puts an optical sensor at the end of a flexible strap. Allowing you to take photos more comfortably without having to rotate your wrist.
It is important to say that Apple will not be a pioneer in putting a camera on a Smartwatch. But according to the record, the company innovated and thought to put the camera on the bracelet. This allows you to shoot images from any angle without losing sight of the screen. As competing products require an uncomfortable position to take a picture.
The company further explains what this camera would look like. According to the patent document, the camera can be activated with a button on the device case and wristband with specific commands or via a Siri voice command.
A possible barrier to adopting this format is its minimal ability to capture images.
Some designs described in this document include a camera-like smartwatch that can be positioned regardless of the body position on the watch. This allows the device to capture images and videos at angles and orientations that do not depend directly on the rest of the watch, including the body. This functionality can replace or at least significantly optimize a camera or device enabled for this function (for example, a smartphone or tablet). The handheld can capture images and videos through an optical lens integrated into one end of the strap.
In the document, Apple explains that the camera can be activated with a button on the device case and wristband. With specific commands, such as pushing a tip on it or using a Siri voice command.
The watch can also have a second camera on the other side of the strap, which would give you the ability to take photos with both cameras at once and make 360 ° videos and images. The front camera must be kept at a fixed point, while the other can be manipulated by the user in a way that makes video calls possible.
Improvements to physical activity
The second registered patent describes an automatic wristband adjustment tool that tightens the Apple Watch to the wrist while the user is exercising with the watch on or if a better fit is needed to get the heart rate without interrupting the practice. If the watch detects that it is sliding during a run, for example. The strain sensors on the device may tighten or loosen the strap, which may also come off automatically once the activity is over.
The third and final patent filing refers to LED indicators built into the bracelet that would allow you to view the progress of an activity with the display.
Activity app details, including step counter and heart rate monitor. Through these features, the banner could also indicate the type of activity tracked by Apple Watch. Allowing you to verify that your device is recording data correctly.
Apple registers patents regularly, but does not always make them real products. Thus, it is unknown whether news indicates that Apple Watch bracelets may be coming soon. But they provide an interesting idea of what is being planned for a possible release.