Apple has been seen in the recent past expanding its research and development on its Apple Watch. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant had obtained a patent for technology that could make way for a colour-changing Apple Watch band. Now, the company has reportedly been granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for an Apple Watch Band that contains an integrated near-field communication (NFC) module. The Apple Watch and Band system with mating NFC modules could instantly match band colours with the Watch UI, open apps, and more.
According to a report by PatentlyApple, the US Patent and Trademark Office has officially granted Apple a patent that allows the company to add an NFC module to the Apple Watch band. This module could then mate or interact with a new NFC module on the Apple Watch body and match the colour scheme of the UI with the bands colorway. The connection could also instantly launch certain apps like ones specific to exercise, added the report. The patent also reportedly covers integrating health sensors into the band itself.
Most importantly, the patent reportedly also covers a band identification system that allows for the unique identification of a band coupled with the main body of an Apple Watch. The system may utilise NFC components that allow Apple Watch to identify and obtain information from a band without requiring a power source to be attached to the band.
The matching system will reportedly allow the Apple Watch to instantly sync features, colour schemes, and also open specific apps related to the band. For example, when a swim band is matched, the Apple Watch could automatically turn on water protection features.
The NFC matching system will also reportedly prevent the use of third-party unauthorized bands, making the ecosystem more secure and reducing the risk of unwanted damage to the wearable device. Upon detection of an unauthorised band the system may warn the user of such a breach, and also disable certain features of the device until the unauthorised band is disconnected.
However, it is important to note that Apple has traditionally been seen patenting potential technologies but not all of them have made their way to consumers. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the reported NFC integration technology for Apple Watches and bands will be made available to consumers.