We’ve already got the self-lacing shoes that were supposed to be the hot trend in the alternate reality of Back to the Future II, and if Apple has its way, we’ll soon having self-adjusting watch bands as well.
As spotted by AppleInsider, Apple was granted U.S. Patent No. 9,781,984, which covers “dynamic fit adjustment for wearable devices.” Apparently the idea is that the band for your Apple Watch will adjust to the size of your wrist, either automatically or by tinkering with a setting.
Not only is this attractive because it will save you a few seconds in the morning, as Apple says in the patent filing, but it’ll also ensure the biometric sensors built into the Apple Watch will get an optimal reading. At the very least, it’ll make the watch more comfortable.
Taking care to cover all its bases, Apple proposes multiple ways this could work.
The Apple Watch might contain a fairly straightforward tension mechanism that adjusts automatically or in response to user commands, or there may be bladders with gas or fluid that expand to fit properly. Other variations include retractable bands or memory wire.
Exciting, eh? Just keep in mind that these are patents, and sometimes these ideas don’t ever get beyond the imagination stage. Still, it’s always fun to see what’s bouncing around in the minds of the folks in Cupertino, whether it’s augmented reality glasses or getting the voice assistant Siri to recognize you by the sound of your voice.
Sometimes, the patents even make it into products on the market today, whether it’s this patent for what would become the iPad Air and the Apple Pencil, or this patent that became iOS 11‘s ability to automatically switch to “Do Not Disturb” while you’re driving.