The Digital Crown, which facilities navigation around the watch while harking back to timepieces of times gone by, could be in for an unusual upgrade sometime in the future. The patent in question(opens in new tab), recently granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, relates to adding a camera to a smartwatch. You read that right: a camera.
A patent filing reveals some details about upcoming Apple Watch models. The Apple Watch is certainly one of the greatest – if not the best – smartwatches on the market, especially if you have an iPhone 13. Apple, on the other hand, can’t afford to rest on its laurels with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 hot on its heels. Apple is hard at work on developing for the Apple Watch, according to a new patent discovered(opens in new tab) by AppleInsider. The patent focuses on the Apple Watch’s most distinctive feature.
“A watch having a camera is disclosed,” the filing says in its abstract. “The watch can include a housing having a front side, a back side, and an attachment interface configured to couple to a watch band.” “A camera can be mounted to the housing and configured to capture a picture of a scene through the back side of the housing. A display can be visible through the front side of the housing and configured to display the picture.”
WWDC 2022 is right around the corner, but Apple traditionally sticks to software updates during its keynote – no surprise, really, given it’s a worldwide developer confernece – meaning we could see the Series 8 alongside the iPhone 14 later in the year, around September.
Of course, filing a patent doesn’t mean Apple will ever develop this technology and necessarily even release it. But it’s fun to get some insight into what the company is at least considering. There are a lot of technical and privacy hurdles to overcome before releasing such an update for the Apple Watch, of course, most notably that surreptitiously taking photos of people with the Digital Crown would raise privacy issues. We expect the next Apple wearable update to be the Apple Watch Series 8, after a fairly incremental update for the Watch Series 7.
Additional sensors for the Apple Watch 8 could be part of the mix, alongside three size options and updated watch bands. Aside from that, we don’t know an awful lot more – but it’ll be exciting to see what’s revealed between now and later in the year.
Max Slater-Robins has written for T3 now on and off for over half a decade, with him fitting in serious study at university in between. Max is a tech expert and as such you’ll find his words throughout T3.com, appearing in everything from reviews and features, to news and deals. Max is specifically a veteran when it comes round to deal hunting, with him seeing out multiple Black Friday campaigns to date.