The new Apple Watch Series 4 is packed with personal health features like heart-monitoring and fall-detection. The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available in stores September 21st.
One day, your Apple Watch might be able to see.
That’s according to the iPhone maker’s new patent filing that spotlights potential plans to put an “optical sensor” on a new version of the smartwatch’s flexible armband, a step-up from fixed-position cameras placed on watches like the Galaxy Gear.
Apple’s concept would allow for the wristband to capture photos and video, while the Apple Watch’s display serves as the viewfinder. The patent includes illustrations of where the camera could be positioned to snap photos and make video calls.
If the product comes to fruition, you’d be able to pull out a section of the band what could be angled toward your face, or other desired position. Apple also says that it could mount a second camera on the watch to enable 360-degree video.
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Apple Watch rendering (Photo: United States Patent and Trademark Office)
“In some embodiments, a second optical sensor is coupled to the opposing side of the camera watch band to which the first optical sensor is coupled,” the patent, granted Tuesday, reads. “The user may quickly switch between optical sensors or capture images or video from either optical sensor or from both optical sensors at the same time.”
Apple has been focused on built-in sensors since the first-generation device was released with a heart-rate tracker. The next generation, the Apple Watch Series 2 added GPS sensors and the Series 3 was built with cellular connectivity.
Apple’s Apple Watch Series 4 added an FDA-approved ECG sensor in 2018, so camera sensors could actually be in the smartwatch’s future, but only time will tell. Apple wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The tech giant isn’t the first to experiment with cameras on smartwatches. Samsung’s 2013 Galaxy Gear First Gen had a strap-mounted camera, and the Gear 2 had a 2-megapixel camera built into the watch’s body.Nubia’s latest smartwatch has a built-in 5-megapixel camera that lets you take selfies.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.
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