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    January 25, 2017

    Apple’s newest patents reveal an intriguing, modular future for the Apple Watch

    Apple Watch work apart from iPhone

    New patents filed by Apple reveals that the Apple Watch could one day work independently from a connected iPhone thanks to new modular band links.

    While we have a certain admiration for the Apple Watch, one of our consistent complaints has been that the device only works in conjunction with an iPhone.

    Thanks to new patents filed by Apple, however, that might not always be the case. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved a filing for functional band links that would offer additional Apple Watch functionality.

    Read: Apple is reportedly working on a new, “˜enhanced‘ Siri for future iPhones

    In the patent filing, Apple describes a system in which “œThe electronic components included in the modular functional band links may be any kind of electronic component associated with any kind of functionality” revealing that in the future the Apple Watch might benefit from modular components.

    The patent filing elaborates that each link could offer different features; for example, some might offer a built-in camera while others might serve as additional batteries or biometric sensors.

    While the link system would obviously make Apple’s stylized band strategy rather moot, the system could be an intriguing way for the company – and approved third party manufacturers – to bring additional functionality to the device without the need for yearly hardware updates.

    In essence, the system could feasibly play to one of the Apple Watch’s greatest strengths; personalization. Users would hence be able to configure their device to accommodate the features most necessary to them rather than forking out for unpopular premium models.

    While it remains uncertain if Apple will take the idea to the production stage – not every patent sees the light of the day – the system remains (on paper, at least) an intriguing way to make the company’s premier wearable interesting again.

    Read: Apple‘s largest iPhone manufacturer is mulling moving display production to the US

    What are your thoughts? Share them with us in the comments below!

    Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA

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