The Apple Watch band that changes color according to an app’s settings has been patented by Apple.
Patently Apple said that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave Apple a patent on Tuesday.
The filing, available on the government website, describes the functionality of the proposed technology. The band “incorporates electrochromic features that allow for color control based on an applied voltage,” so that it can show different colors and color combinations. People can “control, select, and/or adjust the colors of the watch band” using a system, which is probably an Apple Watch or iPhone interface.
Anti-glare mirrors in vehicles and smart glass windows that can darken in response to temperature changes are two common applications of electrochromic material. According to the patent, the filaments or fibers of the band can have conductors and layers that change color when voltage is applied. The filaments are spun into yarn, which is then woven into fabric. As shown in the diagrams, each of the three stripes of fabric can show a different color.
The patent also describes how the color can be modified in response to time, date, text, icons, and notifications, either manually by the user or automatically. If you receive a text message or your alarm goes off, the watch band may change color to alert you. So, it’s a lot like a fancy mood ring.
Putting a technology that is usually used to make glass into fabric is already a very impressive feat. However, it should be noted that an Apple Watch band with customizable color options may never be released.
Apple and other large tech firms run “moonshot” R&D initiatives, which result in patent filings for ideas that ultimately don’t get developed. The adaptability of the Apple Watch, which allows users to swap out bands, has proven to be a profitable business for Apple and has opened the door for potential partnerships with other companies.
However, Apple was just granted a patent for a smartwatch with a camera built right in, so these patents could be the basis for some major new features in the next iteration of the Apple Watch.