With multi-day battery life on the wish-list of many Apple Watch owners, it’s not surprising that Apple is at least considering making a battery band available which could potentially allow the wearable to go many days between charges. This would be of particular value to those who want to use the Watch for sleep-tracking in addition to its usual duties during the day.
The company was recently granted a patent for a multi-function band that could include power, and AI has spotted a new patent application – filed back in 2015 but only published today – which deals specifically with power …
The patent describes a battery system embedded into a band which could supply power to the Watch through the existing inductive charging coils.
A wearable power apparatus for a wearable electronic device includes one or more conductors, one or more batteries connected to the conductor, and/or an inductive coil that attaches to the wearable electronic device to inductively transmit power from the battery to the wearable electronic device, such as while the wearable electronic device is worn. The power apparatus may have attachment mechanisms that attach to a band coupled to the wearable electronic device. Alternatively or additionally, the power apparatus may be at least partially embedded within the band.
The patent illustration above shows something similar to the existing charging puck, but in the much slimmer form factor that would be needed to make it comfortable to wear beneath the Watch. Apertures within it would allow the existing heart-rate monitor to continue to work.
As a neat design feature, the band itself is also charged inductively using the same charger as for the Watch itself. As ever, there’s no knowing whether or not the idea will ever make it into a real product.
One oddity about the patent application is that the illustration is of a round Watch rather than the square form factor of the existing product. Apple frequently uses very generic illustrations of things like smartphones and laptops, rather than mimicking specific products, in line with its policy of making its parent applications as broad as possible. In other cases, patent applications pre-date the launch of the products for which they are intended, when the final form factor may not have been decided.
In this case, however, the application was filed after the Apple Watch was launched, and specifically addresses – and illustrates – the heart-rate sensor of the actual Watch. It’s particularly strange, then, that the company shows a different design to the real thing.
It’s likely that this is nothing more than a generic image that then needed to address one specific design feature of the current model, but the shape may provoke speculation all the same. What are your views? A meaningless quirk, or a sign that Apple is considering different Watch form factors in future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.