Apple Watch in the future could come with Touch ID support inside the screen, according to a patent filed by the company, which was discovered by the Patently Apple. Further, Apple’s Watch bands in the future could come with internal watch antennas to support communication with watch and/or other devices, rather than the antennas being inside the watch as is traditionally seen.
The patent was filed by Apple in the second quarter of 2018, and the application number is 20190341677. It has now been published by the US patent office, though that of course is no assurance as to when such a product will actually release in the market.
The patent description regarding the watch band reads as follows, “A watch band for a watch can include an antenna that is operable for wireless communication with other devices. The antenna can be embedded within a body of the watch band to protect the antenna from an external environment and to conceal it from view.”
The patent goes on to add that these antennas in the watch band can stretch, bend, and flex with the watch band body, thus ensuring they don’t get damaged when in use, while ensuring comfort for the user who is wearing the band.
The patent also notes that one reason for utilizing the band space is to effectively use the space withing in the housing of the watch itself. In most watches, the band is independent of the device itself and can be inter-changed as well. But what Apple is proposing in this patent would mean a radical redesign of the Apple Watch’s band.
Further, the patent notes that the watch display could have an image or video output for the watch body. More importantly it mentions that the display will have more than one input surface such as a touch sensing device, force sending device, temperature sensing and/or a fingerprint sensor.
This is not the first patent to show that Apple has more planned for the watch band. Previously a report on 9to5Mac had revealed a patent, which showed a camera could be placed inside the Apple Watch band and it would rely on a hidden optical cable to send data to the watch.
The band would be flexible and users would be able to pinch the camera or give a command or press a button on the watch case to take a picture. The watch’s display could function as a viewfinder in this case, notes the patent. Of course, given these are all patents, it means Apple is still testing the feasibility of many of these ideas. There’s a good chance that not all of these will make their way into an actual consumer product.