Apple patents Watch Band with Self-Tightening, Skin Texture Authentication


Apple has been continuously working on making its better than the previous generation. And now, it looks like the company is working on the idea to make the Watch Band smarter. 

As spotted by PatentlyApple, the company was granted a handful of patents this morning by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As noted by PatentlyApple, the new Watch Band comes with a handful of advanced features such as biometric authentication, self-tightening, and an LED progress indicator.

As from the first patent, there is a sensor on the Watch Band that can authenticate the wearer based on patterns in their wrist’s skin texture. After the implementing of this feature, there will be no need for authentication using a passcode on the Apple Watch or a paired iPhone to unlock the watch. 

More particularly, skin texture cracks are generally warmer than the surrounding skin, and hair is cooler than the surrounding skin. By using an IR thermal image sensor as the wrist biometric sensor, hair can be distinguished, thermally, from skin texture cracks by temperature.

The second patent indicates a self-tightening Apple Watch band. Let’s say if the wearer is running or doing any sports exercise, the watch band will automatically tighten in order to ensure that the watch doesn’t fall from the hand. Once the wearer completes the physical activity, the band will automatically loosen. The wearer should specify the location where the band should automatically tighten. 

In addition, the band could automatically tighten to notify a user of an upcoming turn while walking, driving, or swimming; to help the wearer count repetitions while weight lifting; or to notify the wearer that they have reached certain distance intervals while running, such as every mile. 

The self-tightening band could also be part of a two-factor authentication system on the Apple Watch, as described in the patent.

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…

In one example, a tactile pattern may be a series of five squeezes of the user’s wrist (e.g., tighten and loosen in sequence). The user may thereafter enter “5” to gain access to the banking website.

The third patent describes the availability of an LED indicator that would visualize the progress of an activity or task, such as completion of Walk, Stand, and Exercise rings. This LED indicator will also indicate the battery level of the band.

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