Apple Watch 7 could have Touch ID and an in-screen camera

Apple Watch 6 review
The Apple Watch 6 (Image credit: TechRadar)
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As impressive as the Apple Watch 6 is, it arguably lacks for big new features, but Apple might make up for that with the Apple Watch 7, as there’s evidence that it’s working on both a Touch ID fingerprint scanner and an under-display camera for a future wearable.

Both of these have popped up in Apple patents recently granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, so they’re certainly ideas Apple is at least exploring.

The Touch ID patent (opens in new tab) details a fingerprint scanner built into the power button of an Apple Watch. The patent notes that this could be used for user identification, device unlocking, and authorizing transactions – much like fingerprint scanners on other devices.

Apple Watch patent

(Image credit: USPTO / Patently Apple)

The other patent (opens in new tab) sounds rather more ambitious, detailing a screen that could have multiple layers, with one of the layers housing a camera that’s invisible when it’s not in use.

It’s worth noting that this patent also mentions smartphones, so we could see this tech on the iPhone 13 or later too – potentially meaning Apple could get rid of the notch. But the bulk of the patent is focused on a smartwatch screen.

Neither of these features seem totally unrealistic, but Touch ID sounds easier to incorporate and like it would be a more useful feature for an Apple Watch to have. It’s also not the first time Apple has mentioned such a feature in a patent.

An in-screen camera (or any sort of camera) would probably be better on a phone, and is also a tech that so far you’ll only find on the ZTE Axon 20 5G. So it might not be polished enough yet for Apple to incorporate it anytime soon, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if some future iPhone or Apple Watch has this.

Via PocketNow (opens in new tab) and Patently Apple (opens in new tab)

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.