New patents reveal Apple Watch with self-tightening, LED progress bar, and skin texture authentication features

Apple has been granted a number of new patents related to the Apple Watch.

As spotted by Patently Apple, Apple has received a number of new patents including a self-tightening wristband, an LED progress indicator, and biometric authentication.

Biometric authentication

The band sensor, for example, can authenticate a wearer based on the patterns on their wrist’s skin texture, using an IR thermal image sensor as the wrist biometric sensor to distinguish hair and skin texture cracks by temperature.

What’s particularly interesting about this feature is that it would remove the need to enter a passcode on the Watch, meaning you could strap it onto your wrist and begin to use it almost immediately.

Self-tightening band

Another patent involves a self-tightening Apple Watch band, which would tighten to ensure a snug fit on the wrist.

During exercise, for example, the Apple Watch could tighten its grip on the user to better monitor performance and reduce the likelihood of it slipping from the wrist, and then loosen when the exercise session completes.

What’s more, the patent suggests that Apple Watch users could select several locations where their wristband would automatically tighten, such as when entering a gymnasium.

The tightening could also be used as a notification.

If a user reaches a distance interval when running, for example, the band could tighten to alert users of hitting a milestone.

The patent goes on to share the concept of wristwatch tightening for authentication, reading: “For example, if a user wishes to access financial details hosted on a banking website, the banking website may require both the user’s credentials and a verification of a number of tightening-loosening patterns sent to a wearable electronic device previously authenticated by the banking website.”

LED indicator

The final patent granted yesterday involves an LED indicator that could be used to visualize the progress of an activity, whether that’s a walk or an exercise ring, and it could also be used to determine the battery life on an Apple Watch at a glance.

Apple will unveil a trio of new iPhones and new Apple Watches next week, though it’s unlikely that any of the technology announced in its latest patents will see the light of day so soon. Apple is granted patents virtually every week and many of its concepts are never used, so we should take these with a pinch of salt – or expect them in years to come.

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