The Apple Watch may have struggled to make radical advances over the past few generations, but a potentially big upgrade could soon be on the way: smart bands that can talk to the watch and trigger new modes.
Apple devices, particularly the iPhone and Apple Watch, are associated with a multitude of third-party manufacturers who offer devices compatible with them. However, Apple is in a unique position to create accessories that stand out in the sea of third-party options by creating a specific relationship between its products.
A new patent recently granted to the company suggests thatApple might, at some point, release a special kind of straps for the Apple Watch, which would have a unique effect when placed on it. In fact, the patent talks about two unique effects: activating a particular application and changing the displayed theme to match the color of the bracelet.
Currently, Apple Watch bands are dumb and just slip into the smart watch to give it a new look.
As the folks at AppleInsider mention, Apple had already received another patent which is somewhat related to this one. It describes a type of Apple Watch strap whose color the user could change at will. How could this happen? Well, to simplify, the watch would apply voltage to a strap that has an electrochromic layer woven into filaments.
Although this trick is potentially interesting, it is also not revolutionary. However, it could be handy if you have several different bracelets for different activities. For example, if you connect a fitness bracelet, the Apple Watch will be able to enter fitness mode, while a waterproof bracelet will trigger functions suitable for swimming, such as activating the “Water Lock” mode.
A simple patent for the moment
This new patent seems more realistic, as it simply requires the use of near field communication (NFC). The watch would read the NFC tag inserted in the wristband and identify it, which could lead to some kind of reaction. This system could also be used to notify the wearer that they have an original/certified Apple product.
It’s still a patent, so we can’t be sure if the idea will turn into an actual product or not, but it seems like a perfect way for Apple to better control and cash in on its popular wearable. What would be even cooler is the color changing strap. Many owners of smart watches use them as fashion accessories, which would make the Apple Watch the ultimate in versatility.