In short: Apple has obtained a patent that could pave the way for Cupertino to add a camera to future versions of its Apple Watch. The patent describes a few interesting implementations, including one with a camera lens mounted to the side of the rotating digital crown. In this configuration, the wearer would simply point their hand at the scene they wish to photograph.
Users can also remove the watch case from the strap for added flexibility when shooting.
Another illustration shows how a rear-mounted camera might work. In this arrangement, a release mechanism would separate the watch case from the strap and allow the user to take pictures with a camera mounted on the back of the watch. An LED could serve as a flash to illuminate dark scenes, the patent notes.
In both configurations, the front screen of the Apple Watch would act as a digital viewfinder and a screen for reviewing captured images.
Smartwatches with built-in cameras aren’t a new idea, but existing offerings haven’t gained much popularity. Confidentiality is always a real concern, and quality issues and redundancy have also been obstacles. Apple is the market leader in the smartwatch category and if they can pull off the implementation without it looking too fancy, future Apple Watches might be even more desirable. If nothing else, it’s better than the bulky Wristcam strap.
The patent was only granted this week, so it’s unlikely that any of these new features will make it into the upcoming Series 8 expected this fall.
Image credit: Pixabay
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