Apple, the American tech giant was granted a patent last week, for its Apple Watch titled “Watch Having A Release Mechanism,” describing a smartwatch with a camera located on the bottom of the device.
The patent that United States Patent and Trademark Office gave Apple earlier this month, details a special watch band with a quick-release feature, easily detachable from the bottom to allow ‘the watch housing to be removed from the nest portion without a need to remove the entire watch band from the wrist…’
The addition of a camera to Apple’s Watch has long been rumoured, earlier reports speculated an included camera on the 2016 Apple Watch. Over the years the company has been granted several patents related to the concept of an Apple Watch with a camera, including a patent for a wrist-worn electronic device with a camera that can be used for video calls, taking photos, and recognizing gestures. According to Patently Apple, which tracks Apple-related patents, only last week Apple was granted another 38 patents, including a new styled magnetic charging coil for the watch.
It is important to note that just because a company patents a technology does not necessarily mean that it will be released as a product, the built-in camera patent was filed back in 2019. Meanwhile, there are several smartwatches available on the market with a built-in camera, including Samsung Galaxy or Kospet, “the world’s first smartwatch with a 13mp front & rear flashlight camera,” with prices starting from $499 and $179 respectively.
According to estimates from Counterpoint Research, Apple enjoys a commanding lead in the smartwatch market, accounting for 3 in 10 smartwatches shipped worldwide in 2021. The device was launched in 2015 and is currently in its seventh generation.