Patent approval paves the way for Apple Watch camera

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,318   +162
Staff member
In brief: Apple has been granted a patent that could pave the way for Cupertino to add a camera to future versions of its Apple Watch. The patent describes a couple of interesting implementations including one with a camera lens mounted on the side of the rotatable digital crown. In this configuration, the wearer would simply point their hand at the scene they want to photograph.

Users could also remove the watch housing from the band for increased flexibility when shooting.

Another illustration highlights how a rear-mounted camera could work. In this arrangement, a release mechanism would separate the watch housing from the band and allow the user to take pictures with a camera mounted on the back of the watch. An LED could serve as a flash to illuminate dark scenes, the patent notes.

In both configurations, the front screen of the Apple Watch would act as a digital viewfinder and display to review captured images.

Smartwatches with integrated cameras aren't a new idea but existing offerings haven't gained much traction. Privacy is still a real concern, and both quality issues and redundancy have also been barriers. Apple is the market leader in the smartwatch category and if they can nail the implementation without it feeling too gimmicky, future Apple Watches could be even more desirable. If nothing else, it's better than the bulky Wristcam band.

The patent was only granted this week, so it's unlikely that any of these new features will make it into the upcoming Series 8 expected this fall.

Image credit: Pixabay

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FaTaL

Posts: 113   +180
A) apple watches are fcking ugly. square screen = ugly as fck
b) wtf do you need a camera.
c) apple watches are a fcking ugly
 

letsgoiowa

Posts: 81   +156
I'm not sure how this will be any faster or better than using the iPhone the user already has. I guess there's some niche application of giving people GPS enabled Apple Watches in an enterprise setting to take pictures of stuff, but that's kind of an odd scenario.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,243   +1,949
TechSpot Elite
And another thing to sap battery life for a device that already doesn't have a great battery life (compared to an actual watch).

Even my Amazfit smartwatch has a 2-3 week battery life.. and the health features on it are pretty damn good. I don't need 62,000 bells and whistles in order to justify a one-day battery life cycle.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,949   +6,985
Finally! Now we all get to pretend we all are D1ck Tracey!! I can't wait. šŸ¤£
Or is that James Bond! :rolleyes:
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 304   +418
Battery life goes from 18 hours to 8. Our family owns many apple watches up to the 7 and we are now moving away from such connectivity. I switched to a Garmin Epix 2.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 364   +243
I don't see how the patent being granted paves the way for putting a camera in the Apple smartwatch. If they didn't get the patent, they could still use the design, they just couldn't prevent other companies from copying it.
 

Sathi43

Posts: 52   +63
Amazing what is patentable these days...
The most rudimentary sketch of the most rudimentary idea that any 7 year old can come up with. Wow, so original.. no one in the history of humanity has ever thought of that surely! Bam patent approved!!