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Apple may have tested "Smart Bands" for the Apple Watch, according to a new image of a prototype device.

apple-watch-series-3-contacts-prototype.jpg

The image, shared by developer and prototype collector Giulio Zompetti, shows two metal contacts inside an Apple Watch Series 3 prototype's band slot, either side of the diagnostic port. Zompetti postulated that the "two unusual pads are exposed to the band," and may be a kind of iPad-like "Smart Connector," much like those from various iPad models, used to accommodate a "Smart Band."

Apple has filed a large number of patents around smart Apple Watch bands, indicating that it is something that the company has actively considered. Some patents showed how features such as biometric authentication, self-tightening, and LED progress indicators could be integrated into a band, while others explained a modular approach with batteries, displays, cameras, blood pressure sensors, and more.

The Apple Watch's hidden diagnostic port was once speculated to facilitate Smart Bands. At the time, the diagnostic connector, which is purportedly based on the design of the Lightning connector, was said to be capable of supporting future accessories.

Third-party accessory makers were able to develop an external battery band that could charge the Apple Watch through the diagnostic port, but changes to the Apple Watch's software prevented the strap from ever coming to market. However, other smart bands not reliant on the diagnostic port have become available in recent years.

In the past, Zompetti has shared images of prototype versions of the original Apple Watch, first-generation iPad, third-generation iPod touch, and iPhone 12 Pro.

Article Link: Apple Watch Series 3 Prototype May Show Contacts for Potential 'Smart Bands'
 
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4jasontv

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2011
4,713
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At the very least they could add an alarm that triggers a 'find my' alert if the watch were to ever fall off.

Not that I have ever had that happen with my series 3, 4, or 5 but it's one of the concerns I have heard from others.
 
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anthogag

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2015
642
780
Canada
Smart bands would be cool.

LG already showed a flexible-strip type display at a tech show. Apple could wrap a flexible display around the wrist and the buckle/clasp would be the battery and other internals.
 
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mcfrazieriv

macrumors 6502a
Jan 30, 2012
970
2,364
Wonder what was discovered during testing phase of the smart band connector?
Electric shock?
Bands breaking?
Burns?
Too much innovation?
 
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Mick-Mac

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2011
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826
I think smart bands has the potential to be a can of worms. I've only ever wanted a stainless steel band (which Apple charge a disgustingly high price for) so if the smart band didn't fit my style preferences then I'd have serious reservations about buying/wearing it...
 
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groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
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A smart band with a camera would be great. It's the only thing keeping me from leaving my phone at home while jogging etc.
 
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jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
3,596
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Temecula, CA
I hope he doesn’t get a letter from Apple lawyers for sharing the pictures.

Hopefully the feature gets introduce to 2021 Series 7 Apple Watch.
if it is indeed a prototype, Apple WILL find out how it got into their hands and will follow-up on that I bet ...
and if it is indeed a prototype, it is Apple's property and they have the right and the law on their side ...

You can do a lot with Photoshop ...
 
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Mac Spec

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2008
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Former Apple Retail employee here - early Apple Watches were "imaged" via a hardwired connection through those ports. The tool was black plastic with pins that matched up with what is shown in the photo. These were used for the watches in the display table table - the ones not touched by customers.
 
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MvdM

Suspended
Apr 27, 2005
380
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Imagine trying to update your smart bands firmware on your S3, and you don’t have enough storage to update

oh wait…
You think they would even fit the S3?
Would it not be very Apple to not let the bands fit the previous Watches?

Btw I think they will call them Magic Bands.
 
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lazyrighteye

macrumors 68020
Jan 16, 2002
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Denver, CO
Maybe I’m misremembering - but didn’t we know about these ports back when S3 launched? I feel like I read this before and that this discovery spawned the whole “smart band” movement. Regardless, adding tech into their bands could be A) interesting and B) you think braided loops are pricey?
 
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MacFan782040

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2003
858
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The next Apple Watch needs to have magnetic watch bands. Obviously they need to be strong enough to not fall off but it would be so much easier to swap out different bands.
 
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rosegoldoli

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2019
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Former Apple Retail employee here - early Apple Watches were "imaged" via a hardwired connection through those ports. The tool was black plastic with pins that matched up with what is shown in the photo. These were used for the watches in the display table table - the ones not touched by customers.
mystery solved
 
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