Future Apple Watch Bands Could Feature Haptic Motor In The Band Itself

A patent application published today suggests that future Apple Watch models could be thinner as Apple is working on a method to move the haptic motor from the Watch to the band. Haptic feedback would be to the wrist from the band rather than the Watch.

Apple describes the move as being space saving.

Many portable electronic devices continue to decrease in size while the number of uses and functions of the electronic devices can remain the same or increase. For example, some cellular phones and digital music players are contained within small and compact housings that include electronic circuits and components that provide a user with a wide range of applications and functions. Space can therefore be an issue when including or adding additional components, circuits, and functions to a portable electronic device.

While Apple does like to keep its language as general as possible, it refers to ‘portable electronic devices’ rather than smartwatches. However, it does make use of the word ‘band’ quite a bit, which likely refers to the Apple Watch.

A system includes a band, an attachment mechanism attached to the band, and one or more haptic devices included in the attachment mechanism. The attachment mechanism can attach the band to an electronic device. Additionally or alternatively, the attachment mechanism can attach the band to a wearer. The haptic device or devices are in communication with a processing device. At least one of the one or more haptic devices produces a haptic response based on an activation signal received from the processing device.

Data from the Watch would be transmitted over a connector within the Watch’s slot attachment mechanism for the band.

As always, take these patents with a grain of salt as there’s no guarantee that it’ll become a product down the road.

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