Apple is looking on ways to make a single Apple Watch band change color on its own, both to alert the user to information and to match the color of the wearer's clothing.
Apple doesn't typically aim to save you money, but a recently awarded patent seems to show it doing just that. "Watch Band With Adjustable Color" suggests that you purchase just one Watch band, and it changes colors, as opposed to purchasing numerous Watch bands to match various outfits.
The recently awarded patent states that users may want to be able to modify their watch bands to express diversity and style. A user might choose a watch band of a certain color, for instance, depending on the outfit, other accessories, setting, or other preferences they have.
It says, "Some existing watches allow the user to detach and swap out different watch bands for customization. Nevertheless, this necessitates that the user have a different watch band for each of the chosen colors or color combinations.
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Also, whenever a different color or color combination is wanted, the user must remove and interchange the watch bands, according to Apple.
Funny how Apple can now make changing Watch bands look like such a hassle after years of bragging about how easy it is. We should now be able to "control, select, and/or alter one or more colors of the watch band for visual display," but that was back when we had "conventional watches," it would seem.
The concept is described in Apple's patent as having "electrochromic characteristics" on Watch bands. This means that "an applied voltage" can make "a single band display a range of colors and color combinations."
The major examples of the invention concentrate around bands that are created from a fabric that is itself woven from filaments, despite the fact that the patent strives to explain every possible application of its main notion.
A patent detail demonstrates how a user may swipe on an Apple Watch to alter the band color.
Electrochromic characteristics may be present in some or all of the filaments, according to Apple. For instance, one or more of the filaments may include both an electrochromic layer and a conductor.
It goes on to say that the electrochromic layer can be electrically coupled to the conductor so that voltage applied to the conductor can be sent to the electrochromic layer. According to the following paragraphs, "[The] electrochromic layer can incorporate a polymer layer... [which] can respond, in the presence of an applied voltage, to alter its color."
Apple often gives very little information on the potential applications of its patents and instead focuses on how a result might be reached. This one is unique in that it goes into great length about how advantageous it is to change a Watch band's color for aesthetic purposes.
According to Apple, the color selections can be changed without removing the watch band. As a result, various colors can be exhibited at various times without the need for separate watch bands for each color or combination of colors.
A band can change color by the user choosing what they want, and the Watch can also do this. Although it isn't specifically mentioned in the patent, a Program that now modifies the Apple Watch face at specific times of day could also simply alter the band's color.
Apple did say that the Watch's color could change "to provide a notification to the user," though.
So, your band can flash the same color in addition to your Apple Watch's activity ring closing in green. Apple, though, is seeking more than just a single, drastic color change.
According to Apple, the watch band's color-adjustable components "may be arranged and individually controlled in such a way that the system can show specific icons, shapes, and/or text by illuminating certain elements in a particular way."
So, a text message could be able to scroll around your Apple Watch band like a news ticker thanks to this color-changing technology.
Four people are given credit for the invention in the patent, including three who previously worked on touch-sensitive fabric research for a potential HomePod: Zhengyu Li, Chia Chi Wu, and Qiliang Xu.