While the focus has been on Apple Watch software this week at WWDC 2016, we’re getting a new look at possible future generations of the device itself.
Part of the patent details two additional buttons on the opposite side from the Digital Crown.
First discovered by Patently Apple, a pair of patents detail a watch with a built-in camera and two additional buttons on the opposite side from the Digital Crown.
While not shown in any images with the patent mentions a camera – possibly along an edge or on the top if the device – so users can take photos of nearby objects like a bar code or QR code. The camera could also take images of the user.
Another patent details the Digital Crown that all watch users are familiar with. But interestingly, the patent shows a watch with two buttons opposite of the Digital Crown and Side Button.
All three buttons, along with the crown, could be physical or touch sensitive. Just this week, a new report says that the next-generation iPhone could feature a capacitive touch button. It could possibly even distinguish between light and heavier touches, just like Apple’s 3D Touch technology on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
Software improvements with watchOS 3.0
The new watchOS 3.0 software features a number of improvements including a SOS button and the new Home app.
Just because Apple files a patent doesn’t mean that the mentioned features will ever appear on future version of the wearable device. But it does give us a hood hint at where the future may be heading.
The second-generation Apple Watch is rumored to arrive this fall along with the “iPhone 7.” Early reports say it will feature a smaller form factor, better battery life, and possibly the mentioned camera.
On the software side, Apple has made some nice improvements with watchOS 3.0, which was officially unveiled earlier this week at the WWDC 2016 keynote. Some of the improvements include an app Dock, more watch faces, and additional customization improvements. I ran down all the changes on Wednesday.
It’s currently in beta testing and should arrive to the public sometime this fall.
Some changes coming to the current watch