Patent hints at power-supplying smartwatch bands (and a round Apple Watch)

Future watch bands from Apple (Smart Bands?) may provide more juice for the Apple Watch. Apple has filed for a patent (20170033567) for a “charging apparatus for a wearable electronic device.” BTW, images accompanying the filing show a round Apple Watch.

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. 

The power apparatus may have attachment mechanisms that attach to a band coupled to the wearable electronic device. Alternatively or additionally, the power apparatus may be at least partially embedded within the band. The inductive coil may also receive power for the battery from another inductive coil. The battery may include one or more connectors that power to (and/or receiving power from) one or more other electronic devices.

This is the latest patent suggesting Apple has big plans for smartwatch bands. Last month I reported  a filing for a “band attachment mechanism with haptic feedback” that would transfer the smartwatch's haptic feedback mechanism from the device’s body to its wrist strap. In September 2016, the company Apple filed for a patent (number 20160255944) for for “dynamic fit adjustment for wearable electronic devices.” If the invention ever sees the light of day, we could have Apple Watches that allow users to “dynamically adjust” the wearable device’s watchband without having to remove it.

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.