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

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.

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Top Rated Comments

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55 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?
Rating: 13 Votes
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55 months ago
Apple covered that port for a reason. Good luck with that strap in the rain.
Rating: 6 Votes
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55 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?
Rating: 6 Votes
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55 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.
Rating: 6 Votes
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55 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.
Rating: 6 Votes
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55 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.


No? It looks like you press the side button on the strap to pull the pins in, slide in the strap, and release.
Rating: 5 Votes
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55 months ago

Which begs the question, why didn't they launch with battery bands?


My best guess is, they determined they didn't need them. As someone who has been using the watch for several days now, I'm using it constantly and have yet been able to deplete the battery before going to bed.

I'd much rather take a nice looking or comfy strap than a bulky one to solve a problem that I don't have.
Rating: 5 Votes
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55 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.
Rating: 5 Votes
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55 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.


if only these guys had thought about that. :rolleyes:
Rating: 4 Votes
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55 months ago
I wonder if all of the people who have posted "if you don't like the Apple watch then don't buy it" will apply the same logic here. For those saying one day battery is enough (funny how that attitude is now prevalent) surely you can understand how some people might want to extend that to two or three days, right?
Rating: 4 Votes
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