A self-adjusting band for the Apple Watch, anyone? It’s possible. Apple has filed for a patent (number 9,781,984) for “dynamic fit adjustment for wearable electronic devices.”
Systems and methods for dynamically adjusting the fit of a wearable electronic device are disclosed. In many embodiments, a tensioner associated with a wearable electronic device can control one or more actuators that are mechanically coupled to either the housing or to a band attached to the wearable electronic device. In one example, in response to a signal to increase the tightness of the band, the tensioner can cause the actuator(s) to increase the tension within the band.
In the patent filing, Apple says that some wearable electronic devices (such as smart watches) may be multi-purpose devices, providing in one example both fitness/health tracking and timekeeping functionality. Accordingly, a user may prefer the fit of a smart watch to vary with use. For example, a user may prefer a looser fit in a timekeeping mode and a tighter fit in a fitness/health tracking mode. Apple says there’s a need for systems and methods for dynamic adjustment of the fit of wearable electronic devices.
Self-adjusting watch bands would be cool, but I’d rather see a smart band that could provide additional power. Apple filed for such a patent (20170033567) in February. “charging apparatus for a wearable electronic device. According to the patent filing, 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.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.