Apple considers Apple Watch bands with added functionality

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170084133) for “indicators for wearable electronic devices” that show the company is at least considering future bands for the Apple Watch that do more than attach the wearable device to your wrist.

Such a watch could provide band medical reminders, medical notifications, health information, health recommendations, activity information, biometric information, physiological information, and more. It could also convey info about the progress or status of an activity monitored by or performed by the Apple Watch such as: a percentage completion of a local or remote file download; a remaining local or remote playback time of a media file; a remaining distance to a destination; a remaining capacity of a local or remote battery; a number or percent of unread, unwatched, or unheard messages; and so on.

According to the patent filing, an Apple Watch band has an indicator with a variably and/or progressively illuminable portion. The indicator of the band conveys to a user an analog representation of the completion progress of an activity or task tracked by wearable electronic device. 

The wearable electronic device also includes a processing unit within the housing, and a sensor operatively coupled to the processing unit. In some cases, the sensor is a motion sensor such as an accelerometer or a gyroscope. In other examples, the sensor is a health sensor or a biometric sensor. Sensor data is used to update the indicator.

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.