On Tuesday, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for a color-changing Apple Watch band, which would be controlled by an app. The technology would include electrochromic features that could be used to display a variety of colors and color combinations on a single band. Users could control and select colors via an Apple Watch or iPhone interface. Electrochromic material is commonly used in anti-glare mirrors and smart glass windows. The band’s filaments or fibers would include conductors and electrochromic layers that respond when voltage is applied. The filaments would then be woven into fabric, like any other cloth band. Three stripes of fabric can independently display different colors.
The color could also be changed manually or adjusted automatically based on time, date, text, icons, and notifications. For example, the watch band could turn a different color when the user receives a new text or when the alarm goes off. It’s a highly sophisticated mood ring that could potentially be a remarkable achievement, as it weaves the electrochromic technology into fabric.
However, it’s important to note that a color-changing Apple Watch band might never come to market. Apple and other tech giants often file patents that never come to fruition. Furthermore, interchangeable bands for Apple Watch are highly lucrative for Apple and offer opportunities for brand collaborations.
In addition to the color-changing band, Apple has also received a patent for a built-in smartwatch camera, indicating that there may be major changes in store for the Apple Watch in the near future. While it remains to be seen whether these patents will ever make it to market, they offer an intriguing glimpse into Apple’s research and development programs.