'Reserve Strap' Debuts New Design Focusing on Apple Watch Diagnostic Port

by

Originally announced by third-party developers Lane Musgrave and John Arrow back in early March, one of the biggest concerns of the battery-boosting accessory "Reserve Strap" was its use of the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor as a way to provide power to the wearable. Although it was unconfirmed, there was always a possibility of the Reserve Strap obstructing normal functions of the heart rate sensor, or causing the Watch to not function altogether by interfering with skin contact completely.

Last week, after getting their hands on an Apple Watch, Musgrave and Arrow have gone back to the drawing board on the design of the Reserve Strap, coming up with a new look that acts as more of a traditional Apple-made band without blocking the heart rate sensor at all. The new Reserve Strap aims to use the 6-pin diagnostic port - hidden inside of the band port on the bottom of the Watch - as the main source of providing power to the device, shirking the heart rate sensor's magnetic inductive charging altogether.

reserve strap change

The Original Reserve Strap design (left) vs the new design (right)

Finally getting our hands on the Apple Watch has further confirmed the immense value of the Reserve Strap. Since release day, we've been executing series of tests on the Apple Watch and have some really exciting news to share today.

We've developed and tested a completely rethought design that takes advantage of the 6-pin port underneath the band slide of the Apple Watch. This port hadn't been deciphered by anyone until now but we've been able to make significant enough observations so far to warrant shifting our development focus to this new method. We're looking forward to sharing more design details and technical specification of this new Reserve Strap as soon as we can.

The company claims in its blog posts that its engineers have "been able to independently confirm that the 6-pin diagnostic port underneath the Apple Watch case can be used for charging." They continue by also noting the diagnostic port will allow for not only a higher charge capacity, but faster, more efficient charging times. The blog post also notes that the new method should improve durability of the strap as a whole and eliminate "any interference with Apple Watch functionality including taptic feedback and heartrate sensors."

reserve strap port sketch

Initial renderings of the new design (left) vs fully realized 3D model (right)

No word was given on the planned Kickstarter for the Reserve Strap, but those interested can still pre-order the device from the company's official website for $249.99. Color options will include white, gray and black, and customers will be able to choose between 38mm and 42mm strap sizes to fit their preferred Apple Watch size.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
67 months ago

It won't work. Look at the connector. Those of us who have our watches already know that the way to attach a strap is to slide it in. Straps won't slide with a big connector sticking out of them.


It looks like there are buttons on either side of the strap that you would pinch to insert/release. Perhaps as you pinch them, the connector will retract and then will connect to the port when you release them?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago

It won't work. Look at the connector. Those of us who have our watches already know that the way to attach a strap is to slide it in. Straps won't slide with a big connector sticking out of them.


Lol. This made me laugh. They have engineers who can extract info from a diagnostic post... Yet you think they didn't think of that? Especially since they have one in their hands now.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago

Apple covered that port for a reason. Good luck with that strap in the rain.


Yup, only to include it as a new feature with the watch2.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
Apple covered that port for a reason. Good luck with that strap in the rain.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago

I take it these people are aware that having batteries in a watch band is something Apple has patented.


Which begs the question, why didn't they launch with battery bands?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
We all know the watch needs the iPhone to operate, and the iPhone doesn't last more then 18 hours so why does the watch need to? If you have to recharge your iPhone every night, it should be easy enough to charge the watch as well.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Five Mac Apps Worth Checking Out - June 2020

Tuesday June 2, 2020 2:25 pm PDT by
Apps developed for the Mac often don't receive as much coverage as apps designed for iPhones and iPads, so we have a series at MacRumors that highlights interesting Mac apps that are worth taking a look at. This month's apps are designed to make working from home a little bit easier. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Meeter (Free) - Working from home often...

iPhone 13 Prototype Mockup Depicts Notch-Free Design and USB-C Port

Thursday June 4, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
We still have a few months to go before Apple unveils the iPhone 12, but rumors about the iPhone 13, coming in fall 2021, are already circulating. Japanese site Mac Otakara today shared a rough 3D printed mockup of a 5.5-inch iPhone said to be coming in 2021, which is from "Alibaba sources." The model may be built on leaked specifications and rumors, but where the info comes from is unclear. ...

iPad Pro With A14X Chip, 5G, and Mini-LED Display Expected in First Half of 2021

Wednesday June 3, 2020 6:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch new iPad Pro models with an A14X chip, 5G connectivity, and a Mini-LED display in the first or second quarter of 2021, according to the increasingly reliable Twitter account L0vetodream. The leaker claims that the new iPad Pro models will be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X55 modem, which supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz. mmWave is a set of 5G frequencies that...

Apple's First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become 'Obsolete' in 30 Days

Monday June 1, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible. In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as "obsolete" worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over...

$5 Billion Lawsuit Accuses Google of Tracking Chrome Users in Incognito Mode

Wednesday June 3, 2020 3:13 am PDT by
A proposed class action lawsuit in the U.S. has accused Google of violating federal wiretap laws by tracking the online activities of users when in Incognito mode. According to Reuters, the class action argues that by surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse when they use Chrome's private browsing mode, Google has been intentionally deceiving...

Next iPad Air Could Feature a USB-C Port Instead of a Lightning Port

Tuesday June 2, 2020 8:30 pm PDT by
The fourth-generation iPad Air may be equipped with a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port, according to a new report from Japanese site Mac Otakara that says the information comes from a Chinese supplier. Apple transitioned to USB-C for its iPad Pro models in 2018, but other iPads have continued to feature a Lightning port for charging purposes. Mac Otakara says that the new iPad Air will ...

Next Apple Pencil Could Be Released in Black

Tuesday June 2, 2020 10:25 am PDT by
The next iteration of the Apple Pencil could be available in black for the first time, according to leaker Mr. White who shared the tidbit on Twitter this morning. A mockup of an Apple Pencil in black We haven't heard rumors of a next-generation Apple Pencil and it's not clear when a new model might be released. Apple is rumored to be working on mini-LED versions of the iPad Pro, and it's...

Apple's Stock Price Hits a New All-Time High [Updated]

Friday June 5, 2020 7:06 am PDT by
Roughly four months after hitting an all-time high just before financial markets and economies faltered in the face of the current public health crisis, Apple's stock price has returned to those levels and has set a new all-time high today. Apple's previous intraday high of $327.85 was set on January 29, and that high-water mark was surpassed just a few minutes ago as it hit $328.00 before...

Code in iOS 13.5.5 Suggests Apple is Working on Services Bundle

Wednesday June 3, 2020 5:04 pm PDT by
Rumors have suggested Apple is working on a services bundle that will offer multiple Apple services like Apple TV+ and Apple Music for one flat monthly rate, and according to 9to5Mac, code found in iOS 13.5.5 seemingly confirms Apple's bundle plans. Files in iOS 13.5.5 reference a "bundle offer" and a "bundle subscription," and these files weren't in earlier versions of iOS. The files are...

Deals: Get the Limited Edition Mac Bundle With 11 MacOS Apps Including Parallels Desktop for $54

Wednesday June 3, 2020 6:46 am PDT by
At StackSocial this week you can get the Limited Edition Mac Bundle featuring Parallels Desktop for a low price of $54 with the promo code RUMORS10. This new bundle features 11 total apps for macOS, including Parallels Desktop, TextExpander, PDF Expert, and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with StackSocial. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, ...