A new patent filing from Apple hints at the possibility of the next-gen Apple Watch working for a long period sans being charged.
The latest patent pertains to the production of an inductive charger, which could possibly be used in the smartwatch's strap. The charger could potentially be attached to the Apple Watch's band as well.
The patent entitled "Charging apparatus for wearable electronic device" was published on Thursday, Feb. 2, and was applied for by Apple in 2015. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) has just granted the patent.
The patent's abstract describes in detail how the inductive charging technology would work.
"A wearable power apparatus for a wearable electronic device includes one or more conductors, one or more batteries connected to the conductor, and/or an inductive coil that attaches to the wearable electronic device to inductively transmit power from the battery to the wearable electronic device, such as while the wearable electronic device is worn," shares the abstract.
The patent reveals that this power apparatus could have a mechanism that is able to attach to the wearable's band. However, the coil may also be fully or partly embedded into the smartwatch's strap.
The induction material in the portable device is also expected to be capable of transmitting and subsequently receiving power. It is also expected to attach itself using magnets as an external charging source.
What Do The Images Reveal?
The illustrative images in the patent point to a tiny wire that connects the battery embedded in the strap to the rear of the wearable. The watch strap as illustrated is quite thin. This probably has been done so that it will not be too bulky.
The images also show that the Apple wearable will sport a circular dial and not a square one like the Apple Watch 2. Whether this is an indication that the Apple Watch 3 will benefit from this change is not known, as the company often deploys generic images in its patent filings.
Apple Watch 3 To Use Inductive Battery Charging?
It is not known whether Apple shall be conceptualizing this idea into a product or whether it is merely safeguarding the same from being utilized by other competitive establishments.
Fans would be hoping that Apple uses the inductive battery charging module for its impending Apple Watch 3. Such a move would enable users of the next-gen smartwatch to use the wearable for days without charging it.
That said, often patent applications do not see the light of day as most companies do not implement these technologies in the actual product.
However, if the inductive battery charging feature is embedded into the strap of the Apple Watch, users will not need to worry about lugging the charger around if they are on the move. Moreover, the extended battery support offered will be an added advantage.
A user may also be able to go to sleep wearing the device, which provides Apple the leeway to possibly introduce a sleep tracking feature into the next-gen WatchOS.
An extended battery life for the Apple Watch would also provide the company with the option of including always-on display.