As smartwatches become larger and more sophisticated, especially on the Apple side of things with the recently launched Apple Watch Ultra, we might ask ourselves if they could provide more functions on our wrists. We have seen science fiction movies and popular media that depict having a computer on our wrists—essentially replacing smartphones and other gadgets like cameras—and it appears that Apple is working on making this a reality.
According to AppleInsider, Apple is considering adding a camera to the top of their Watch, according to a new patent. The camera would be similar to the Wristcam but would be in a slight protrusion above the display.
Apple’s patent application notes, “the integration of such components may result in a bulky device which may hinder user performance, may be uncomfortable to wear, or may be unsuited for performing certain functions (e.g., a camera disposed within a wearable electronic device may be awkward to position when capturing optical input).”
And, AppleInsider further notes that Apple doesn’t want to compromise the quality of its products by fitting a camera into a Watch band. They want a high-quality camera that can take 4K videos at 60fps or 12MP still photos.
“The digital camera assembly may be used for a variety of purposes,” Apple notes, “including, as non-limiting examples, facial identification, fingerprint sensing, scanning a Quick Response (QR) code, video conferencing, biometric monitoring (e.g., heart rate monitoring), photography, video or image capture, or any combination thereof.”
Real world use cases could include being able to unlock your Apple Watch using Face ID, and perhaps more advanced fitness tracking with the watch being able to “capture movement of a user’s body or other objects during certain activities.” If the patent moves past the research and development stage, and actually does materialises as a real Apple Watch sometime in the future, it could open up a host of new use cases for the Apple Watch at large.