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Apple Watch could feature ‘in-built rotatable camera’ after patent approval

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The latest Apple Watch Series 7 was announced on 14 September, 2021 (Apple)
The latest Apple Watch Series 7 was announced on 14 September, 2021 (Apple)

Future versions of the Apple Watch could allow wearers to take a photo from their wrists after a new patent was granted to the tech giant.

It comes three years after Apple first filed for a patent for a “built-in rotatable camera” within its market-leading smartwatch. Other major wearable manufacturers are yet to release a wrist-worn camera.

“A camera can be mounted to the housing and configured to capture a picture of a scene through the back side of the housing,” states the patent, which was first spotted by the site Patently Apple.

“A display can be visible through the front side of the housing and configured to display the picture.”

The patent also outlines a design that would allow the camera to “rotate together with the dial” in order to facilitate selfies.

The ‘Watch Having a Camera’ patent was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, meaning it is unlikely to feature in the upcoming launch of the latest Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch Series 8 will more likely feature updates to existing hardware, such as an S8 chip that would improve its speed and efficiency.

An integrated camera in the housing of an Apple Watch is one of several patents hinting at potential new features for the smartwatch (Apple/ USPTO)
An integrated camera in the housing of an Apple Watch is one of several patents hinting at potential new features for the smartwatch (Apple/ USPTO)

Other rumours hint at brand new hardware, most notably a body temperature sensor that could be integrated into fertility planning, fitness and health apps.

Other Apple patents that have been approved by the USPTO include a biometric authentification feature that could eliminate passcodes and make accessing the smartwatch easier and safer.

There have also been patents for the Apple Watch strap, which could transform the wearability of the watch.

A self-tightening strap patent could allow the Apple Watch to adjust itself around a wearer’s wrist ahead of a workout in order to provide more accurate heart rate readings.

Hardware could also be shifted into the strap itself in order to make the device itself slimmer, with LED notification lights, integrated batteries and even speakers potentially housed within the wrist band.

Apple does not comment on patents or unreleased features for its upcoming devices.

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