Apple Watch patents hint at new hardware buttons, camera incoming

Apple Watch patents hint at new hardware buttons, camera incoming
When is Apple going to release its second-generation smartwatch? Rumors of a new Apple Watch have been floating around for months, and while recent announcements have brought us little more than new band designs and a pricing adjustment, hope's remained high that Apple could still get the new wearable out before the end of the year. But assuming that it is on its way, what sort of changes could Apple have in store? A couple recently published Apple patents offer some potential insight, each addressing one possible new development for Apple Watch hardware.

One of the most pervasive rumors about the Apple Watch 2 has been the idea that Apple could finally give the smartwatch a camera. Cameras on smartwatches have proved more miss than hit over the years, but maybe Apple's just the company to show us how it's meant to be done. Potential use cases range from FaceTime video chat to scanning barcodes in stores.

The evidence here is a little light, though, showing up in a block diagram describing describing a smartwatch user interface. While this might establish that Apple is thinking about how cameras on smartwatches would work, it's a bit less than confirmation that we're actually getting the feature on the next Apple Watch. It's possible this could just be a reference to remote shutter control for the iPhone's camera, like we have now, but it feels like something more substantial.

Apple's other patent concerns crown input on a smartwatch – not unlike what we have now on the current Apple Watch. But what's most interesting isn't the crown itself, but the rest of the hardware buttons present; right now we only have a single button below the crown on the smartwatch's right edge, but this patent shows a pair of additional buttons on the left edge, as well.

Then again, we don't see any camera in this rendering – so which feature, if not both, would actually make it into the final Apple Watch 2? For now, we're not placing a ton of faith in either of these patents – companies like Apple patent plenty of designs they never end up using – but we'll definitely be looking for additional evidence on both fronts.


source: USPTO (1,2) via Mashable

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48 Comments

1. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

Could they possibly copy the Samsung Gear 2 any more than they already have? Well, yes they can with no shame...

2. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

lol +1 :)

4. Nopers unregistered

I didn't realise the Gear 2 was the only other smartwatch to feature a metal body and square display. I mean they do actually look quite different, the Gear 2 looks much more primitive and only has one hardware button.

10. gigicoaste

Posts: 456; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

what do you mean primitive?? I mean.. let's not forget that rounded display, input rotating bezel.. this are not too much primitive I believe. Ontopic, apple is trying new patents for.. buttons? I mean.. side buttons are since Casio started to make electronic watches.. where is the catch? Is not that.. primitive?

18. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

He said Gear 2, not Gear S2. See you don't even know what you're talking about Here let me help you Here is a list of the Samsung Gear devices Samsung Galaxy Gear − Android based, upgradeable to Tizen Samsung Gear 2 − Tizen based - HE WAS SPEAKING OF THIS ONE Samsung Gear 2 Neo − Tizen based Samsung Gear Fit − Runs a custom RTOS Samsung Gear Live − Android Wear based Samsung Gear S − Tizen based Samsung Gear S2 − Tizen based Samsung Gear Fit 2

32. sgodsell

Posts: 7381; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Samsung had 2 watches with cameras. The original Gear had a camera on the band. Then Samsung made the Gear 2 with a camera on the casing. There is other Android watch with cameras as well. However cameras can really eat into the battery. If Apple puts a camera on there watch, then they will not only need a larger battery, but they will need standalone WiFi that doesn't rely on the iPhones WiFi to configure. I can just imagine if you do 15-20 minutes of face time. Then I could see people wall hugging with their watches now. This is more gimmick than anything else, especially if you are carrying your phone as well.

14. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

That camera was for pictures. I guarantee that this one will be more for FaceTime. Also, even the current Apple watch is way more defined that that bubble gum machine gear watch that came out. Heck even the old ipad touch was way better than that thing with the pimple.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The present Apple Watch is no better than the first gear. They both suck because they both can't work without the phone. The original Gear has a 2MP camera which was quite good for it to not have a flash bulb. The display was nice and sharp and colorful and the loudspeaker was nice an loud considering its position. It just didnt have features. Now the Apple Watch does have more features. But ever since then, Samsung has release better Gear model. The Gear S/S2 are great since they are cellular capable. The Apple Watch only has that features where you can send vibration. I think its kinda dumb! It behaves more like a toy than a real watch. pretty much liek the orginal gear. What you said about the original gear is fair and true, but its equally true of the Apple Watch considering they had 2 years to watch everyone else and did no better. As far as design? The gear was stainless steal and came in nice colors. It was a touch device. Features and dev support is what killed it. But the few extra features the Apple Watch have aren't better.

47. AViator

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

"The present Apple Watch is no better than the first gear. They both suck because they both can't work without the phone" Bruh it's a supplementary device for a phone _-

23. Unordinary unregistered

A camera on a watch is just plain stupid, regardless.

31. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yeah I agree. But I liked taking photos and surprise my friends and family, because I can snap a pic without th4m ev3n knowing.

3. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

As usual, the first ppl to comment on an Apple article are trolls. It's pathetic really. On topic, I've never really found any smart watch to be useful honestly. I can get a G-Shock for a better price and it does basically the same stuff. If Apple could find a way to make their WatchOS more independent of the iPhone, I may buy one :D.

6. AlikMalix unregistered

I think they get points for their troll posts and bonus points for over 5 green thumbs. Id love to get on that racket but these goons keep this ponsi-scheme to themselves.

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

And you never do that in Android articles, right?

11. gigicoaste

Posts: 456; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

IMO limiting access to one platform is pure nonsense.. trying to create exclusivity.. even Microsoft understand it that is not the right way to do it..

15. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Says the guy that spends his time trolling on android articles lol

16. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Who are you referring to? Because I don't even read most Android articles, let alone comment on them.

24. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

25. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

How the hell is that trolling to you? I said it was neat, meaning it was a cool idea. And it is impractical because if the device can't charge outside of 2.75 in away from the charger, you might as well if it in. You're reaching extraordinarily hard here my friend. Or do you not understand the term "neat"? Regardless, you are beginning to remind me of why I dislike Android's users more and more. Reaching for every little thing like the little brother in a sibling rivalry, it's sad. Honestly, I'm thinking of disowning the entire platform because of crap like this. It's not like it offers anything I can't get on iOS, and Windows Mobile is my second favorite OS anyways.

34. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Read it again, with a sarcastic tone. You've made known you don't care for Android or anything related to it. I've never once heard you say anything positive about it. So why would I assume anything different here? Just yesterday you laughed off the notion of paying full price for an Android device, throwing a bwahaha in front of the statement. And don't give me that BS. From your first post on PA, you were bitching out people for attacking a platform's userbase (Apple's in that instance), making it personal. Since then you've gone on to do the exact thing you were angry about. Anyone says anything remotely negative about Apple, not even any of there users, and you go after them, and make it personal. So forgive me if I don't take anything you say seriously.

38. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Oh really, because from where I'm sitting you are the only one making anything personal here. I may not pay full price for an Android device, and I'm not a Google zealot who loves everything Android, but I do use it regularly. I'm more an HTC guy than anything else, but I'm never going to pretend is some special butterfly without faults. iOS has it's problems sure, but Android has far bigger issues besides "being boring". And speaking of taking anyone seriously, I distinctly recall you openly endorsing stealing not too long ago. If anyone isn't to be taken serious, it's you :D.

39. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

BTW, if it were sarcasm on my part, I would have put an /s at the end to make sure it was conveyed.

43. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Just the other day someone said something negative about Apple, not you or its userbase, but Apple. You responded calling him a dumbass. But that's not personal. I've never said Google doesn't have issues. In fact there isn't a platform, mobile or otherwise that dosnt have issues. Like right now I'm dealing with a crappy keyboard after one of Google's recent updates. I could switch but up until now this is the only one I liked and I'm waiting for them to fix the issue. I'm assuming you're referring to this? Since you didn't respond to my reply (post 33), I'll say it here again. Where did I say I supported stealing? I didn't. I took issue with something you said. That doesn't mean I agree with who you responded to, it means I disagreed with part of your statement. There is a difference. http://www.phonearena.com/news/A-dark-blue-iPhone-7-These-slick-concept-images-flesh-out-the-rumor.._id82121/comments?post=1457317#post_1457317

30. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Uh what? I think you're just over analyzing. Again.

35. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Considering I've never heard him say anything remotely positive about Android, forgive me for not assuming he is in this instance.

41. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I've said plenty of nice things about Android. I like the customizability and the equilibrium between price and features. Just because you don't read all my comments doesn't mean they don't exist.

45. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

If you did, then I apologize. But since I'm on here quite a bit, especially recently, and I haven't seen anything of it, I'll go with what I've actually seen.

46. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

The other day in the 1+3 pricing article. The LG article you've just linked. The Note article not too long ago. The HTC 10 comparison articles. And the ZTE Axon 7 unveiling (a phone I plan on purchasing). Granted I don't like ALL of Android's offerings, but there are numerous instances where I approve of different devices.

29. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I don't pay them any attention anymore. They know what they're doing but they deflect when you call them out.

22. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

Exactly. Two of the biggest Apple trolls on this website commenting about my comment, how ironic.

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