Apple isn’t expected to release another iteration of its popular smartwatch, the Apple Watch, until later this year, but there is no shortage of rumors and speculation surrounding the possible upgrades the company will add to the new device, according to a report from CNET.
One of the major upgrades believed to be coming to the Apple Watch is a built-in camera. A new patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows Apple’s schematics of an Apple Watch with the previously mentioned built-in camera located on the band of the watch.
This isn’t the first time rumors of a camera-fitted Apple Watch have surfaced, but this is the first patent that has been published that shows off the idea.
“Previous rumors suggested we might see a camera either on or near the watch screen for FaceTime or FaceID. According to the patent, though, this one would be a proper point-and-shoot with a dual sensor (one each on the back and front of the band) that would give you a 360-degree field of view,” CNET noted.
The band holding the camera is believed to be a type of malleable metal that will be able to be adjusted and hold its position so users won’t need to turn their hands in strange ways to snap the perfect photo. In order to capture an image, users will have to press the button on the band then pinch or dictate a command.
While the patent shows that Apple is considering adding a camera to its smartwatch, it doesn’t guarantee that the feature will be added anytime soon. Some users believe Apple will definitely be adding the camera to the Apple Watch Series 5, but the report from CNET disputes that.
“If Apple does move forward with this concept, it would still take a few years for it to materialize and would definitely not be ready for a September 2019 launch.”
Additionally, Apple just redesigned the look of the Apple Watch with the release of Series 4, so it’s unlikely the company will be making such a major update to the smart device.
Instead, Apple is likely to focus on improving the Apple Watch with its current design. The company is aiming to make the Apple Watch more independent from the iPhone, according to a report from TechRadar. Previously, a user would be required to use their iPhone to download software updates within the Apple Watch app on their iPhone and then have it pushed to their watch over Bluetooth. But with watchOS 6, which will be available later this year, users will now be able to download updates directly to their smartwatch over Wi-Fi.
Apple’s watchOS 6 will also bring a new and improved App Store to the Apple Watch. Apple now claims that watchOS apps downloaded directly on the watch will be able to run independently from their iOS counterparts.