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Future Apple Watches may robotically decorate with their bands

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Imaging swapping out a sizzling pink Apple Watch band for an earth-tone inexperienced one, and having your watchface robotically change to an identical colour, slicing out the (extra annoying than it ought to be) manual customization process. In response to a patent filing noticed by Patently Apple, we may very well get one thing like that. The patent describes a wearable and bands which have NFC chips, letting the watch robotically take motion once you join or take away sure equipment.

Apple patenting one thing doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll get it sooner or later, nevertheless it does present that there are some fairly enjoyable concepts floating round inside the corporate. Past switching up the colour palette once you connect the band, the patent says the system may launch a health app once you connected an athletic-style band or activate the water-purging sound once you take off a swim band.

The concept is comparatively easy: put an NFC chip within the band (the rectangle on the appropriate) and a reader the place it attaches to the watch.
Illustration: Apple

It additionally says that NFC may very well be used to speak with elements within the band, equivalent to additional sensors and even shows. The concept of building things into the band isn’t new, however this method may make it a bit extra dependable than utilizing one other normal, like Bluetooth.

Once more, it’s very potential we gained’t ever see any of those options. Nevertheless, the corporate already has numerous the items in place for this. It does colour matching once you pair some gadgets just like the AirPods Max or sure fashions of Beats along with your iPhone — the graphics present headphones with the identical colour as those you’re holding. It additionally has a system for NFC-based automations through the Shortcuts app on iOS. Whereas the Watch doesn’t assist that, you’ll be able to faucet it on GymKit-enabled exercise equipment to robotically begin monitoring a exercise and syncing health information.

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Sadly, there are a number of darker methods this may very well be used that even have precedent. The patent notes that the system may very well be used to inform if you happen to’re utilizing an official Apple band or a third-party one. “Upon willpower {that a} band that’s coupled to the machine just isn’t a certified band, a warning could also be supplied utilizing an output element of the machine, and / or a number of options of the machine could also be disabled or in any other case modified,” the patent says. Keep in mind Apple’s unauthorized battery warnings? Think about getting a type of since you purchased an $8 silicone band as an alternative of a $49 one, or not being allowed to start out a exercise as a result of your watch is apprehensive that your “unauthorized” band isn’t safe sufficient (that’s primarily the justification the patent supplies for this use case).

Nonetheless, I can dream that we’ll get the great (cool colour matching and different automations) with out the unhealthy (DRM for bands). It’s potential this characteristic would solely work with a brand new Apple Watch, until it’s secretly constructed into present ones or may very well be emulated with present {hardware}, nevertheless it may really present a compelling motive to improve — one thing that not every generation has.

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