New Patent Suggests Self-Adjusting Apple Watch Band In The Future

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple U.S. Patent No. 9,781,984 on October 10, as reported earlier by AppleInsider. Apple first applied for the patent on April 20, 2015. The Abstract describes a system in the Apple Watch band that responds to a signal that causes it to tighten to loosen. For example, a user initiates a health monitoring app on an iPhone. The Apple Watch’s band will contract upon receipt of the signal from the iPhone.

The self-adjusting band would mean a better fitting and a more comfortable Apple Watch in the future. The built-in biometric sensors on the Apple Watch will get an optimal reading to ensure comfort. Furthermore, this also means extra time without the fidgeting caused by magnetic locks, buckles, clasps, and velcro. Right now, Apple offers a variety of band types: sport, woven nylon, leather, and stainless steel.

Apple detailed many uses for the self-adjusting band in the filing. Two-factor authentication can make use of Apple Watch band’s self-adjusting feature. For instance, a transaction from a bank requires the user to provide the second factor for authentication from the watch. This requirement could be the number of squeezes felt by the user from the device.

An image of watch diagrams with retractable bands responding to a signal.
Apple patent illustrations show a two-piece band watch system that can retract toward and into the body of the watch in response to a signal. [Image by USPTO | Cropped and resized]

The Apple Watch could also be a navigation assistant. The band can tighten on the right to tell the driver to turn right or on the left to turn to the left.

Moreover, the self-adjusting band could aid a sight-impaired person’s navigation. It can indicate an obstacle on the way by squeezing the user’s wrist. Likewise, it can also notify a hearing-impaired person that there’s a knock on the door when the Apple Watch band contracts.

Apart from a self-adjusting band, other possible features based on the patent claims include stress, oxygen level, blood sugar level, blood alcohol level, and body fat monitors. Currently, the Apple Watch 3 has a heart rate and respiration monitor.

Apple Watch Series 3 Heart rate monitor
Heart rate monitor on the Apple Watch Series 3. [Image by Hadrian | Shutterstock | Cropped and resized]

While this sounds promising, it is important to note that not all patents are applied to new products right away. Hopefully, it does not remain an idea in a plan’s initiation phase and makes it out as a success. Taking some technologies into consideration, such as Siri and augmented reality, we can be optimistic about having a self-adjusting Apple Watch in the future.

[Featured Image by Roman Tiraspolsky/Shutterstock]