Apple is mulling an advanced Apple Watch band with a pair of integrated cameras, judging by a newly issued patent.
The filing shows a camera on the inside and outside of the wrist, meaning it could be possible to engage in video calls directly from the Apple Watch, while also filming and streaming video from an outward facing camera.
Within the document, spotted by Apple Insider, the design would enable Apple Watch owners to “capture images of themselves or their surroundings.”
Apple explains that the band would use automatic facial recognition tech in order to tightly crop the image around the user’s face and could work without the wearer having to hold the watch up to their face. In order to avoid ‘up nose’ shots, the cameras would be able to output a representation of the user’s face using images from both cameras (bottom pic).
The latest watchOS update brought the Group FaceTime feature from iOS 12, but naturally, only for audio. Adding a camera to the watch face itself would be utterly unfeasible for a number of reasons, but especially in regard to Apple’s efforts to slim down the body and offer a near-edge-to-edge display.
While somewhat impractical, placing cameras in the bands and making them available as an option for those seeking the functionality isn’t a bad idea. Whether Apple will follow through on the patent remains to be seen. It has patented in-band tech in years previous, but we’re yet to see anything concrete manifest from those ideas.
If we had to gamble, we’d say this idea remains in the concept stage for the foreseeable future, rather than making an imminent appearance in the Apple Watch Series 5, expected in late 2019.
Do you think adding a camera would be a worthwhile investment? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.