Future Apple Watches could have an auxiliary battery pack in a watchband, per a newly granted Apple patent (number 10,599,181).
In the patent filing, Apple notes that battery life is an important consideration for wearable devices. One manner in which the rechargeable battery within a wearable device can be charged is by connecting the device to a dedicated charger such as a docking station or charging stand much the same way a user may charge a smart phone or laptop.
Apple says that while such charging methods work pretty well, some user’s may prefer to wear their wearable electronic devices all day and not take them off for recharging. What’s more, some functions performed by any given wearable electronic device may be limited or optimized such that the functions are best performed when the device is worn by the user based on the particular sensors, circuitry and other hardware of the electronic device as manufactured.
Apple’s solution: An auxiliary electronic device can include a power source (a “smart watchband”) that can be connected to charging circuitry of an Apple Watch and transmit power to the charging circuitry to charge the wearable device’s battery while the wearable device is being worn and used by the user. The smartwatch would have recesses configured to accept a lug attached to a band that in turn can secure the wearable electronic device to a user’s wrist
Here’s the summary of the invention: “An auxiliary electronic device attachable to a wearable electronic device. The auxiliary device includes a housing, electronic circuitry within the housing, and an attachment mechanism configured to attach the auxiliary electronic device to the wearable device while the device is being worn by a user.
“In some embodiments the electronic circuitry includes a power transmitting unit that can wirelessly transmit power to charge a rechargeable battery within the wearable electronic device. In some embodiments the attachment mechanism includes a pair of lugs that extend, from opposite ends of the housing, above the housing towards a center of the auxiliary device and are adapted to fit within corresponding recesses of the wearable electronic device.”