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Apple Watch patent tips automatic band accessorising feature

Future Apple Watch products could automatically accessorise when you swap out their bands, according to a newly revealed patent application.

As spotted by Patently Apple, the granted U.S. Patent and Trademark Office application suggests that an NFC module be added to the tip of Apple Watch bands. This will then automatically pair up with one in the Apple Watch when brought together.

Following this physical and digital pairing process, the Apple Watch would automatically change its colour scheme to match that of the band. As it stands, you have to go through a relatively laborious manual theme-changing process if you want to change your Apple Watch theme to suit a new band.

It could also be used to open specific apps, so a sporty band might open a popular fitness app, for example. The patent application also points out that the system could be used to ‘authenticate’ official bands, offering a warning when a third party band is detected, or even disabling features on the Watch as a security measure.

That last implementation doesn’t sound so good to us, given the proliferation of affordable Apple Watch bands out there.

Of course, evidence of a patent application being accepted is no guarantee of a feature being implemented in future Apple products. The company has always been way more prodigious with its concepts than with its actual feature rollouts, which is as it should be.

It’s good to see Apple coming up with some fresh ideas for its smartwatch range, however. Especially when you consider what a minor upgrade the Apple Watch 8 proved to be.

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