Apple is investigating designs for Apple Watch bands that self-adjust to fit the wearer's wrist using an integrated tensioner mechanism (via AppleInsider). A patent application granted on Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes multiple designs that utilize such a system, which could one day replace magnetic clasps, velcro, and other fasteners used in current bands.

Titled "Dynamic fit adjustment for wearable electronic devices", the patent begins by highlighting the cumbersome nature of existing fastening methods, which can be inconvenient to adjust or require special tools to achieve the desired fit, and often fail to offer fine-grained adjustment.

23185 28980 171010 Band 2 l
The patent goes on to note that not only can a sub-optimal fit be uncomfortable, it also risks decreasing the sensitivity of onboard biometric sensors and reducing their measurement accuracy. These potential problems are often exacerbated by sweat and motion during exercise, the document notes.

A number of possible solutions are offered, using variations of a built-in tensioner mechanism that adjusts automatically or at the wearer's request, tightening or loosening as required. Variations include embedded shape memory wire, internal ratcheting apparatus, gas or fluid bladders, retractable band elements, and even extendable portions of the device housing.

23185 28981 171010 Band 3 l
As always with patents, it's not known whether the inventions will ever be used in Apple's consumer product line-up, but the designs clearly relate to potential future models of Apple Watch or watch band, the latest being the Sport Loop with hook-and-loop fastener.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Tag: Patent
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

Telos101 Avatar
85 months ago
Nike edition first?

Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
i.mac Avatar
85 months ago
Great, so now the cost of watch bands will be triple digits - given Apple's propensity for premium pricing, this possible product would not be cheap.
Chill. Choices will be there. There’s always the ultimate choice of not buying what you do not like.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
85 months ago
I think this would be very clever and handy if pulled off correctly.
Having this kind of technology could really benefit the whole wearables and flexible electronics industry too.
This type of patent seems very Apple like too. Mainly because it's adjustable and convenient enough where it could adjust much smaller or larger wrists.

Not to mention, Apple investing in the band industry likely holds a large profit for them. I just hope they retain the current band port, as its simplistic and ingenious.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sulpfiction Avatar
85 months ago
Coming soon to MR “cut off blood supply to your fingers” - gate
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
9594864 Avatar
85 months ago
Another patent that would never see the light of day in a product.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rcooked Avatar
85 months ago
Perhaps adjustable in the sense of a health sensor - like blood pressure.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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