* The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent for a fabric Apple Watch band with an electrochromic feature.
* The watch bands described in the patent can each have a colour control that can be changed.
* Adjustable colour watch bands can also be utilised to express information to a user.
An Innovative Spark for Smartwatches
Apple has been granted a patent for a color-changing Apple Watch band – with different color combinations selectable from a Watch app.
The patent even describes the band being able to display “icons, shapes, and text,” and using band color changes to signify notifications.
The patent describes a band with electrochromic elements, that is a material that can change color and opacity in response to small electric currents.
The most familiar example in everyday life is auto-dimming rear-view mirrors in cars.
A light sensor detects when you are being dazzled from behind, and activates an electric current that reduces the opacity of a film or glass layer covering the mirror.
Another example you may have seen is in glass-walled conference rooms, where the glass can be instantly switched between transparent and opaque modes.
This makes for a much neater and faster alternative to blinds.
This same technology can be used to display different colors in a material. By selectively activating different electrochromic sections within a band, it can be controlled in a similar manner to a dot-matrix display, to show symbols, letters, or numbers.
Color-changing Apple Watch band
Apple’s patent (spotted by Patently Apple) illustrates the idea with a three-stripe design, in which the color of each stripe can be independently controlled. That would allow both solid colors and stripe patterns to be displayed.
Apple would achieve this by interweaving electrochromic elements into a fabric. The patent describes how you could, for example, adjust the color of the band to coordinate with your clothing.
The patent that relates to a fabric Apple Watch band that includes an electrochromic feature allowing color-adjustable elements that could change the color scheme and design in 3 distinct band zones to give the watch band a customizable look unique to the user […].
Users may desire the ability to customize their watch bands to express variety and style. For example, a user may desire a watch band of a particular color based on the user’s selection of clothing, other wearable articles, environment, or another preference.
Apple notes that people can do this already, by physically changing the band, but that this invention would remove the need to own a variety of bands, and saves the effort of swapping them.
Controlled by an App
An illustration shows an Apple Watch app being used to select the colors and styles, and this then being activated in the band.
The patent goes on to describe changing the color of the band to indicate notifications, and even displaying content on the band like symbols and words.
One watch band for all your Outfits
Apple, in the patent, says that watches already allow users to customise by allowing them to remove and replace watch bands. But that means that users must have a separate watch band for a different colour for each combination.
And the users would need to remove and replace the watch bands whenever they want to try out a new combination.
Apple seems to have figured out a way to make watch bands change colour. Apple’s patent describes the Watch bands as having “electrochromic features,” which can display a range of colours and colour combinations with the application of small electric currents.
Although the patent aims to cover all potential applications of its main concept, the primary examples focus on bands made from a fabric woven with filaments. Per the patent, the electrochromic features can be present in some or all filaments with a conductor and an electrochromic layer.
Apple states that the watch band’s colour can be selected and modified using an app, preferably the Watch app, thus eradicating the need to remove or replace the band. So users would not need different bands of different colours.
The idea of colour-changing watch bands does sound fascinating and straight out of the future.
But it seems still too early for it to be a reality, but maybe one day we will not need to buy a new band for different outfits.
Some other Features of the Colour-Changing Bands
Adjustable-colour watch bands can also be utilised to express information to a user. For example, the watch’s electronic system can adjust the hue to convey a notification to the user.
The watch band’s colour-adjustable elements can be arranged and separately controlled in a way to show specific icons, shapes, and/or text by illuminating selected elements in a specific way.
As a result, the colour-changing features of the watch can be leveraged to provide the user with visual information from the watch.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that the new Apple Watch band is just on the papers, and we are not sure when the company might unveil a new Apple Watch with the colour-changing band.
Recently, a report said that the company plans to unveil a new Apple Watch Ultra model with a larger display and new screen technology in 2024.
APPLE WATCH ULTRA KEYVSPECIFICATIONS
|Operating System||Watch OS|
|Box Contents||Smart Watch, User Manual, Warranty Card|
|Shape & Surface||Rectangular, Flat|
|Screen Resolution||410 x 502 pixels|
|Pixel Density (sharpness)||339 ppi|
|Wirless Protocol||Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11, b/g/n|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, Galileo, Glonass|
|Internal Memory||32 GB|
Smartphone Remote Features
|Find My Phone||Yes|
|Calories Intake/ burned||Yes|
|Water Resistance||Yes, IP Certified IP6X|
FAQ’s on Apple Watch Color Changing Bands
1) What is the update on Apple Watch Color Changing Bands?
Ans) Colour-changing Apple Watch
According to Patently Apple, who spotted it initially, the US Patent and Trademark Office formally granted Apple a patent for a fabric Apple Watch band with an electrochromic feature. The bands have colour-adjustable elements that can change the colour scheme and design in three separate band zones for a customisable appearance specific to the user. Additionally, those who are fashion-conscious will be able to coordinate the colour scheme of their watch band with their clothing.
For instance, a user may want a watch band in a certain colour based on the user’s choice of clothes, other items to wear, the user’s environment, or another preference, the report said.
Some watches already on the market let the user take off and switch watch bands to make the watch more unique. But this means that the user has to have a separate watch band for each colour or set of colours that they want.
Unlike traditional watches, the watch bands described in the patent can each have a colour control that can be changed. This means that a single band can show a variety of colours and colour combinations.
2) What is the Electrochromic material? How is it used in the Apple Watch bands?
Ans) Electrochromic material is best known as the technology behind anti-glare mirrors in cars and smart glass windows that regulate heat and become tinted or opaque. The patent describes how the filaments or fibers of the band can include conductors and electrochromic layers that that respond when voltage is applied.
The filaments are then woven into fabric like any normal cloth band. Diagrams show three stripes of fabric that can independently show different colors.
The patent also explains how the color can be manually changed by the user or adjust automatically based on time, date, text, icons, and notifications. So your watch band might turn a different color if you get a new text or your alarm goes off. So, kind of like a highly sophisticated mood ring.
It’s a pretty remarkable achievement to weave this technology — that’s used mostly in glass — into fabric. But it’s worth noting that a color-changing Apple Watch band might never come to market.
Apple and other big tech companies have moonshot research and development programs that often file patents that never come to fruition. Plus, interchangeable bands for Apple Watch are lucrative for Apple and provide opportunities for brand collaborations.
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