The Apple Watch may soon be customizable. At least, that’s what a new patent Apple secured on Tuesday seems to suggest.
That patent, initially discovered by AppleInsider, is for “modular functional band links” that will feature electronic and mechanical connections and expand the abilities of Apple’s smartwatch. The watch is limited by its size, and, by utilizing the space in the band, Apple will conceivably be able to include more features without increasing the size.
The band links could include things such as touch screens, buttons or touch pads, according to the patent. It could also serve to monitor health with blood pressure sensors and thermometers. With room for several new antennas, the Apple Watch could work as a standalone device — no longer tethered to your iPhone.
With each band link featuring different functions, the patent also addresses customization with the Apple Watch. By switching out links, users could possibly change what features their watch has.
In the background of the patent, Apple writes, “wearable devices are not usually expandable beyond their initial design to meet functional needs of individual different users.”
Other possible functions of an electronic band detailed in the patent include using touch pads on the band’s link in a sequence for commands such as “shut down” or having the band vibrate in different patterns for different alarms.
The patent also appears to address Apple Watch users’ complaints about battery life by adding batteries to the band links. If you’d rather keep a leather or cloth band, Apple also details how batteries could be arranged in different materials.
Of course, just because Apple was granted the patent, it doesn’t necessarily mean these bands are in the works. But, it does give you an idea of what could come next for wearable tech.