New patent shows Apple Watch with a flat Digital Crown

Ever since its introduction, the Apple Watch stands out with its Digital Crown. However, a future release by the tech giant looks to drop this distinguishing feature. The firm could be removing this button in favor of a flat sensor.

Apple Watch 5
Unlike the Apple Watch 5, a future edition may have a flat sensor instead of a raised Digital Crown. Photo: Apple

Flat surface

According to the patent document, the watch prospectively includes an input component that employs an optical sensor to receive input from a user. This would produce the ability for users to interact with the device in a similar way as they would with a crown that is rotatable.

“The user can provide motions and gestures near the input component that the input component can detect and interpret and user inputs to control an aspect of the watch,” the patent reads.

“The motions and gestures provided by the user can be directly detected with optical systems of the input component, so that the number of moving parts are reduced and space within the watch is more efficiently utilized.

“While providing these benefits, the input component provides a user experience that simulates user interactions with a crown that is rotatable and/or translatable.”

Apple Watch Patent
The patent shows that the watch is flat on both sides. Photo: Apple

Useful change

Tech Explorist reports that the watch works differently to traditional crowns. It uses sensors to detect rotary movement. However, the new concept enables the watch to be more sturdy as the flat design will offer less chance of breakage from impact.

Users often report how the crown breaks when it drops or hits another object by accident. Therefore, they will be eager to see the new design come to fruition.

Additionally, the revamp would save space on the device. This could give way to a larger battery, which could enable a longer life.

Furthermore, users would be able to make swipe movements over the sensor to scroll through the interface. Moreover, Apple could introduce new biometric sensors to give watch greater ground in health services.

With Google recently acquiring FitBit, it is in Apple’s interest to expand on its health-related wearable tech. This watch’s design may help the company hold its presence in the wearable market.

Google’s Pixel 4 responds to hand gestures without any physical touch needed. With interfaces moving in this direction, it looks like Apple is preparing for for the industry change with this watch.

Apple Watch Patent
The drawings in the document show that the watch would be capable of recognizing gestures. Photo: Apple

Time to innovate once again

The concept is only in the form of a patent at the moment. Therefore, Apple has plenty of time to adjust the design of the future project.

The trillion-dollar company has been criticized for failing to innovate over the last few years. The fact that parts of the Apple Watch have largely remained the same since 2015 backs the accusations.

With its counterparts gaining ground in the market with creative services and gear, Apple will be keen to revise its approach for the decade ahead.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s watch patent? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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