Apple received a patent on Tuesday (Jan. 24) from the U.S. Patent Office for a modular accessories system for the Apple Watch that will hide the electrical components.
According to a report, the patent details the modular accessories system that can hide things like batteries, biometric sensors and solar cells as part of the watch’s metal band. The official name of the patent granted is “Modular functional band links for wearable devices,” noted the report. With the patent, Apple could be aiming to expand the watch’s use cases after customers initially purchase the wearable device. The report noted that the patent said the modular links on the watch band contain electronic components. Biometric sensors that can fit into links on the watch band were also covered in the patent, noted the report.
The move on the part of Apple to potentially bring more uses to its Apple Watch comes as rumors are mounting that the Apple Watch 3 will be coming out soon. A Chinese-language Economic Daily News report seen by DigiTimes reported that the next-generation smartwatch — the Apple Watch Series 3 — could land in the hands of consumers as early as this fall. According to the report, the latest series of the watch will be manufactured by Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, with the goal of improving the device’s battery efficiency. While Quanta declined to comment on what it described as market speculation, the paper also stated that the remaining hardware of the phone is not expected to see much change. Business Insider said it’s worth noting that DigiTimes isn’t always the most accurate with the rumors and predictions it reports on Apple, but if the new smartwatch does arrive in autumn, it will be nearly a year since the Series 2 was released in Sept. 2016. This could suggest an annual release cycle for the wearable device. Last month, Apple rolled out new functionality for the Apple Watch. The latest version of the Apple Store app for Apple Watch now allows wearers to make purchases right from their smartwatches.