Apple may be devising a way to expand the feature set of your Apple Watch. A patent filed in 2015 was recently granted to the company for an “Auxiliary electronic device attachable to a wearable electronic device”.
In layman’s terms, Apple is developing, at least in concept, a modular attachment to its wearable to build upon its functionality. What will it look like and what exactly will it do? The design and intent is not clearly laid out, as is a purpose of a patent, but there’s definitely enough here to think about the implications of such an add-on, should it ever exist.
The patent (opens in new tab) states things such as being comprised with “at least one sensor configured to capture information related to its environment”, leading us to believe that it could house sensors required to track anything from air quality to altitude and anything in between.
For some tracking abilities, the Apple Watch 3 is currently the most capable, but this patent could hint at an attachment that bridges the gap (both from a financial and technical standpoint) between new and older Apple Watch models unfit to handle such measurements.
Will this ever arrive?
The idea of such an attachment releasing into the wild is the stuff of dreams for those who don’t feel the need to upgrade their Apple Watch. But how likely is it? Given Apple’s record of releasing more capable successors to its products, it doesn’t seem probable for it to extend a hand, of sorts, into its back catalog of releases to enhance it in such a seemingly major way.
Apple is exemplary at keeping its devices current with software updates, but what about hardware? It’s possible that the company may use this patent, or some form of it, to roll out its blood glucose measurement technology – not to track more basic metrics that a simple upgrade to the next Apple Watch can handle.
Given that this patent was filed in 2015, just ahead of the first Apple Watch’s release, it’s hard to say if this one will ever see the light, but the idea is certainly novel enough to work.
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