What you need to know

  • Previous Apple patents suggest it is still considering the idea of adding a camera to the Apple Watch.
  • It submitted the idea for a camera integreated into the band back in September 2016.
  • Though the idea is intriguing, Apple has seemingly opted not to include it into the Apple Watch so far.

Apple is still considering putting a camera on the Apple Watch according to some of its patents. The patents, first spotted by AppleInsider, suggest that Apple has toyed around with the idea of placing the camera at the end of a flexible band.

The patent, which was filed to the US Patent and Trademark Office back in September 2016, show that Apple is not done with the idea of placing an "optical sensor," as it calls it in the patent, on the Apple Watch through the best way possible. Here's exactly how Apple describes the patent:

A camera optical sensor is disposed at a distal end portion of a camera watch band that attaches a watch body to a user's wrist. The camera watch band is configured to be coupled to at least one side of the watch body, and the camera watch band includes an optical sensor or camera, and an operable connection to transfer data between the optical sensor and the display or other device. The band is flexible and may be manipulated by a user to aim an optical sensor disposed at the distal end portion of the camera watch band separately from the watch body. The display or other device functions as the viewfinder for the optical sensor.

By now it is pretty clear that placing a camera on the watch itself isn't really feasible as it's not adjustable. The Apple Watch is strapped on to your wrist, which means adjustability is limited right away to just rotating the wrist and that's neither useful nor comfortable. But a flexible band provides much more customizability, or so goes Apple's thinking.

Judging by the illustrations, Apple considered multiple options including using an extended loop band and just placing it at the end of a standard band. It doesn't seem neither idea worked relatively well as it has been nearly three years since Apple submitted the patent but the idea has not yet been incorporated into the Apple Watch

For now, it seems customers don't really care about a camera on the Apple Watch. In fact, Apple Watch proved to be as popular as ever with shipments increasing in 2018.