Apple has filed a patent for a type of Apple Watch that can automatically tighten itself around your wrist so that it fits perfectly, whether you’re sitting at a desk or out for a run.
In the patent filing, titled “Dynamic Fit Adjustment for Wearable Electronic Devices,” Apple says that “conventional watch bands may catch, pinch, or pull a user’s hair or skin during use if the band is overly tight. In other cases, watch bands may slide along a user’s wrist, turn about a user’s wrist, or may be otherwise uncomfortable or bothersome to a user if the band is overly loose.”
Apple’s solution to watch bands tightening or loosening is to patent a system that includes a “tensioner” that can be adjusted through the watch. If your watch feels a bit too loose, then you slide on the screen and it tightens until you’re happy with it. Too loose? Just decrease the tension.
There are several different ways that Apple says it could adjust a watch strap. One method is to have a snake-like wire running through the device that constricts when a current is applied to it.
Another method uses a “bladder” that fills with either liquid or gas. When you want your watch to get tighter, the bladder changes the amount of liquid or gas around the strap.
But Apple’s patent also outlines a way for the Apple Watch to automatically adjust its fit throughout the day. The user could set an ideal fit for the watch, and then it adjusts by itself to constantly stay the same tension on the wrist.
The patent outlines some interesting ways that a dynamically tightening Apple Watch band could send notifications to a user. Apple says it could use the band to quietly tighten as a form of notification. It gives the example of a knock on the door causing your watch strap to tighten, alerting you in a more forceful way to the Apple Watch’s gentle haptic tap.
Apple didn’t stop there. It also suggests that the Apple Watch could tighten and loosen as a way to log you into websites. Right now you can get a notification of a text message sent to your phone as an extra level of security when you try to log in, but Apple patented a way for the Apple Watch to tighten and loosen in a certain pattern. “A tactile pattern may be a series of five squeezes of the user’s wrist (e.g., tighten and loosen in sequence).” Apple says “the user may thereafter enter ‘5’ to gain access to the banking website. “
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