Apple is reportedly working on a new strap for the Apple Watch that will be able to tighten itself for the perfect fit on your wrist. Back to the Future, anyone?
The Apple Watch 4 could have a mechanism that tightens and loosens its strap automatically, if a recent filing granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is to become a reality.
According to a recent report from Apple Insider, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 9,781,984 for “Dynamic fit adjustment for wearable electronic devices” details methods in which a wearable device, like Apple Watch, can tighten or loosen an attached strap via an “onboard tensioner.”
“Apple in its document notes conventional watch bands are cumbersome, require multiple steps to achieve a desired fit, necessitate specialized tools or are otherwise inconvenient to adjust,” reads the report. “Additionally, traditional methods often fail to offer size increments suitable for all users, leading to an imperfect fit.”
The application continues to detail how a self-adjusting band would also help the device’s sensors gather accurate health and fitness information, as bands that are poorly fitted on wearables typically aren’t as efficient as gathering this data.
“The document details a number of potential solutions for system tensioning including embedded shape memory wire, an internal ratcheting apparatus, gas or fluid bladders (standalone or built into the strap), retractable band elements and extendable portions of the device housing,” the report continues “With the latter method, a portion or portions of an Apple Watch chassis, or alternatively its band, extend out toward a user’s skin, thereby tightening the band’s fit.”
At this point, there is no indication when a self-adjusting band could make its way to our wrists, but given the Apple Watch’s importance to the company, it way well see the light of day in the near future.