Cameras are a vital a part of any smartphone or pill, however up to now they’ve not often been encountered on a smartwatch, and by no means on an Apple Watch. That might change although, as Apple has now been granted a patent for an Apple Watch digital camera system.
The patent, which was filed with the USPTO (opens in new tab) (United States Patent and Trademark Workplace) and granted on February 7, 2023, has now been noticed by Phone Arena (opens in new tab) and others, and it particulars each a digital camera constructed into an Apple Watch, and an uncommon strap that can assist you use it.
The digital camera detailed right here is on the underside of the Apple Watch, which in fact means you may’t use it whereas sporting the watch – a minimum of, until all you need is an excessive close-up of your wrist. However that’s the place the strap is available in.
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The physique of the watch could be linked to the strap by way of a deployable attachment mechanism – akin to a magnet or a latch – so you may rapidly and simply take away the watch from the strap. Then you possibly can maintain it as much as take an image, utilizing the display as a viewfinder, and simply as simply lock it again into the strap when carried out.
After all, you possibly can use this digital camera with a traditional strap too, by taking the entire thing off your wrist, however that’s probably fiddlier than this answer.
That stated, this nonetheless sounds extra cumbersome than simply utilizing your cellphone, and is prone to ship worse outcomes. But when your cellphone’s battery has died otherwise you’ve left your cellphone at dwelling – which you may even deliberately do if in case you have a mobile Apple Watch – then there would positively be a use case for this.
Whether or not it will be value the additional value concerned in including a digital camera to the wearable, and the possibly elevated measurement of the watch consequently, is much less clear although.
Nonetheless, when you like the concept of a digital camera in your Apple Watch then you definately don’t even have to attend for Apple so as to add one. A 3rd-party strap referred to as the Wristcam (opens in new tab) has cameras in-built, and also you don’t even have to take away the Apple Watch from the strap to make use of these ones. Although consequently the strap itself is fairly chunky.
Evaluation: not the primary Apple Watch digital camera patent, and unlikely to be the final
Apple has been exploring the concept of a digital camera within the Apple Watch for a very long time, with various different patents providing alternate options to the one above. We’ve seen, for instance, a patent for an Apple Watch with an under-display camera, and one with a camera built into the Digital Crown.
So that is simply the most recent in a protracted line of Apple Watch digital camera concepts and there’s no purpose to assume this one will make it to market when the others haven’t.
Actually, nearly all of patents like these don’t find yourself getting used, so there’s each probability we’ll hold seeing new patents for brand spanking new variations of the concept, with no completed product.
Nonetheless, the truth that it’s one thing Apple continues to discover suggests there’s hope that at some point we would see an Apple Watch with a digital camera, it simply most likely received’t take this manner – and nearly actually received’t occur in time for the Apple Watch 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2, which is predicted in 2024