Apple eyes a self-adjusting Apple Watch band (now about one that supplies extra power?)

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.

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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. 

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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.