Skip to main content

Patent reveals Apple Watch with Touch ID, but not where we expected

Apple Watch Touch Id
Apple Watch Touch Id (Image credit: USPTO)

What you need to know

  • A new patent reveals Apple is considering adding Touch ID to Apple Watch.
  • It shows schematics for a wearable that has a biometric sensor in the side button.
  • It was once rumored that Apple would put Touch ID in the Watch's Digital Crown.

A new patent published this week reveals Apple is considering putting Touch ID on Apple Watch, in the device's side button rather than the Digital Crown.

A patent from this week reveals an "Electronic device having sealed button biometric sensing system" which Apple says "may further include a biometric sensor for detecting the received inputs and transmitting a signal to a processor of the electronic device" corresponding to something like a fingerprint. Essentially, Touch ID on Apple Watch.

As you can see the image reveals a Touch ID sensor in Apple's elongated side button below the Digital Crown, which has been a design mainstay in all of the Best Apple Watch since day one. The design seems similar to the Touch ID featured in devices like iPad Air, which uses the Lock Button as a fingerprint sensor.

Touch ID has been a rumored Apple Watch feature before, but last time it was suggested the fingerprint scanner would be embedded in Apple's Digital Crown, the tactile scroll wheel Apple uses in Apple Watch Series 7 and all of its previous models.

Touch ID would be a very welcome addition to Apple Watch, given how fiddly it can be to enter your four-digit passcode to unlock it when required. Using a fingerprint would be a much quicker and more intuitive security input.

With Apple Watch Series 8 the company is expected to debut not one but three new models, a new Series 8, an Apple Watch SE 2, and a new rugged Extreme Sports edition of the Apple Watch with a larger screen and metal case designed for outdoor use.

We're expecting the new Watches later this year and likely don't have too long to wait. In the meantime, if you aren't interested in the latest and greatest Apple Watch models, these Prime Day Apple Watch deals deals could be a great opportunity to save this summer.

There's always Amazon

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

1 Comment
  • This is the kind of thing that would make me buy a new model. Like iPhone, Apple Watch changes every year, but it's mostly smoke and mirrors and after you upgrade you realise it's only marginally diff from the one before and the software still sucks anyway. This is an actual, functional improvement, which is rare for Apple these days.