Apple Granted Patent for Apple Watch Wireless Charging and Band Storage Case

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    The United States Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent related to a "Case for wearable electronic device," and it's described as an accessory that would let users charge their Apple Watch while on the go while also storing a few extra bands (via Patently Apple). Similar to portable battery packs, or Apple's own AirPods case, users would charge the Apple Watch case itself, and then when traveling they could place their Apple Watch within the case to recharge it.

    In the patent's images, the case appears rectangular in shape, with the left side housing two rows for two pairs of Apple Watch bands, while the right side has a cutout for the Apple Watch case. In this particular patent, users would have to remove the bands to charge the Apple Watch and then store them next to it. According to the patent, there would be an "attachment system" -- magnets are suggested -- so that bands of "different geometry" would all still be secure within the case.

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    The patent specifies that the case would be able to store bands "having multiple segments," like Sport Bands, and bands "having a single segment," like Milanese Loop.
    Apple's patent even suggests the case could charge a "smart band," which would include some form of circuitry and have abilities that supplement the Apple Watch with additional sensors or extra battery. Smart bands have been unearthed previously in Apple patents dating back to 2016, as well as in rumors claiming knowledge of the company's plans from spring 2017, but we have still yet to see such a product debut from Apple.

    Some accessory makers have had trouble launching smart bands for Apple Watch, and in 2016 when Apple's watchOS 2.0.1 update blocked off third-party band manufacturers from taking advantage of the accessory port to fuel the abilities of such bands, the "Reserve Strap" was left defunct.

    [​IMG]

    In regards to today's patent, it would otherwise appear to function similar to the Apple Watch's existing induction charging puck, allowing users to simply place the wearable device inside the case's cradle, close it to protect the screen, and charge it up before wearing it again. The patent doesn't specifically divulge how many additional charges could be added onto the Apple Watch, but it does state that Apple has gone through a few embodiments of the case adding or removing additional band storage to make it slightly larger or smaller, apparently settling on storage for two bands in this iteration.

    There are many portable third-party Apple Watch charging solutions on the market today, but some have downsides for users wanting to charge Apple Watch while traveling. Twelve South's TimePorter case, for example, lets users store a few bands and the Apple Watch charging puck, but it charges the Apple Watch on the outside of the case, so it isn't great for charging in a bag or suitcase.

    As with any patent, Apple's Apple Watch charging case may never become available for users to purchase, but it is interesting to see what the company is considering to launch alongside future generations of the Apple Watch.

    Article Link: Apple Granted Patent for Apple Watch Wireless Charging and Band Storage Case
     
  2. SamRyouji macrumors member

    SamRyouji

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    I'm hoping this patent will see the light. It's interesting if the "band circuitry" is in the making. If it's true, then finally the accessory port has some useful features with the new "smart bands".
    At least we'll get a power smart band that could extend the watch's life for, say, 3 extra days.
     
  3. Marrakas macrumors 6502

    Marrakas

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    Come on apple, do you really need a patent for a band storage case?
     
  4. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

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  5. rtomyj macrumors 6502a

    rtomyj

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    I see what you mean, but when a company literally copies a notch of your current phone you can't be too cautious. This protects them from lawsuits.
     
  6. mtneer macrumors 68030

    mtneer

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    #6
    I don't know if this will be practical. The way I see the image, you'll have to disassemble the watch from the band to charge every time (i.e. if the watch body needs to slot into depression 230 or 214).
     
  7. Moorepheus macrumors 6502

    Moorepheus

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    #7
    Or it prevents 3 party companies from making something that is similar at a cheaper price point. you watch (pun intended), this charging unit will be north of $100
    --- Post Merged, Feb 27, 2018 ---
    where is the accessory port on the AW3?
     
  8. ACST Suspended

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    #8
    The patent is for a bit more than just a normal storage case.
     
  9. truthertech macrumors 65816

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    You must have missed the part about it being a charging device.
     
  10. chabig macrumors 601

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    #10
    Apple convinced a patent examiner that the case is both innovative and non-obvious (the two hurdles for a utility patent). This, therefore, isn't "just" a case. There is something different about it, and we'd have to read the patent to figure it out.
     
  11. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #11
    I have a few bands and i only wear the black band the watch came with... definitely not taking off the bands just to charge the watch.
     
  12. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #12
    Interesting concept. I think this would probably be beneficial for somebody that travels heavily. And something else, just because Apple files a patent, doesn’t mean that this will actually be a product. But nonetheless, this seems something like they would develop an accessory for the Apple Watch charging a small premium as well.
     
  13. JohnApples macrumors 65816

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    #13
    A charging case while on the go? When I’m traveling, I *wear* my Apple Watch. Why would i want to dismantle it and put it into a case just to take it out and wear it once I’m at my destination?
     
  14. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    Very interesting. I wonder if it will ever see the light of day.
     
  15. FelixDerKater Contributor

    FelixDerKater

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    #15
    A system of two small removable batteries would be optimal. Only one would be required to function so activity would not be interrupted while swapping them out.
     
  16. pika2000 macrumors 601

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    #16
    Yup.
    RE the notch. People were laughing at Apple at first. Now, everybody is copying the notch, even if they don't have a reason to. Eg. the upcoming Asus Zenfone, has the notch while still have bezels. It's embarrassing.
     
  17. Moorepheus macrumors 6502

    Moorepheus

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    #17
    You say others are copying the notch. How likely is that this display is manufactured in high quantities , that these other phone makers are kind of stuck with it, because it's the cheaper direction to go? Just a thought.
     
  18. pika2000 macrumors 601

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    #18
    Huh? If that's the case, then everybody will have the exact large notches like the iPhone X. But no, they all have variable sizes, and most of them are smaller since they don't use any advance front facing camera. They just do it as a trend.

    Heck, the one I mentioned, Asus, didn't even bother going bezel-less, so having the notch is purely cosmetic design decision instead of necessity.
     
  19. Moorepheus macrumors 6502

    Moorepheus

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    #19
    It was just a thought, not fact, personally, I have a love/hate with the notch, ears, or what ever anyone is calling them. Personally, I don't have a X, still rocking my 7+. I don't want it because I want TouchID and it doesn't exist on the X.
     

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