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Secret Apple Watch lightning port could tease smart straps

Apple Watch test units come equipped with a built-in lightning connector port, a new report reveals.

According to TechCrunch, the port is used for ‘diagnostics and direct access to the Watch operating system’, although Apple hasn’t mentioned it publicly thus far.

That’s probably because Apple doesn’t actually plan to include the port on the final consumer release model.

When we actually get our hands on the Apple Watch proper, the port will have been wiped off, at least for the first version of the device.

Apparently the port has a 6-dot brass contact array built into the groove for the bottom strap connector slot.

This was confirmed by ‘several sources’, all of whom described it as very similar to the lightning port seen on iPhone handsets.

Related: iPhone 6S release date

The most exciting prospect to emerge from all of this is that Apple could one day use the port to build a smart strap platform.

This would mean that Apple could produce straps that carry additional modular features like bonus battery or sensors.

It’s worth noting that Apple also recently began opening up the Lightning port for third-party developers.

This means smart straps could also be opened up to developers, kick-starting a tidal wave of third-party smart straps.

Smartwatch rival firm Pebble recently unveiled its own smart strap eco-system, so Apple could now have an easy way to face off against the start-up.

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