Apple Granted Patent for Apple Watch Wireless Charging and Band Storage Case

by

The United States Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent related to a "Case for wearable electronic device," and it's described as an accessory that would let users charge their Apple Watch while on the go while also storing a few extra bands (via Patently Apple). Similar to portable battery packs, or Apple's own AirPods case, users would charge the Apple Watch case itself, and then when traveling they could place their Apple Watch within the case to recharge it.

In the patent's images, the case appears rectangular in shape, with the left side housing two rows for two pairs of Apple Watch bands, while the right side has a cutout for the Apple Watch case. In this particular patent, users would have to remove the bands to charge the Apple Watch and then store them next to it. According to the patent, there would be an "attachment system" -- magnets are suggested -- so that bands of "different geometry" would all still be secure within the case.


The patent specifies that the case would be able to store bands "having multiple segments," like Sport Bands, and bands "having a single segment," like Milanese Loop.

Case 200 can be used, for example, as a travel case to store a wearable electronic device and one or more bands that can be used to secure the wearable electronic device to a user's wrist. As shown in FIG. 2, case 200 is designed to hold a single wrist-worn electronic device 230 along with first and second bands 232 and 234 either one of which can be used to attach wrist-worn electronic device to a user's wrist.

Each of bands 232 and 234 includes first and second band segments (e.g., segments 234a, 234b of band 234) that can be connected together by a clasp or other type of connector (e.g., clasp 116 shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B), and each band segment includes a lug (not labeled) at one end. Embodiments of the disclosure can store bands having multiple segments, such as bands 232, 234, as well as bands having a single segment.

Apple's patent even suggests the case could charge a "smart band," which would include some form of circuitry and have abilities that supplement the Apple Watch with additional sensors or extra battery. Smart bands have been unearthed previously in Apple patents dating back to 2016, as well as in rumors claiming knowledge of the company's plans from spring 2017, but we have still yet to see such a product debut from Apple.

Some accessory makers have had trouble launching smart bands for Apple Watch, and in 2016 when Apple's watchOS 2.0.1 update blocked off third-party band manufacturers from taking advantage of the accessory port to fuel the abilities of such bands, the "Reserve Strap" was left defunct.


In regards to today's patent, it would otherwise appear to function similar to the Apple Watch's existing induction charging puck, allowing users to simply place the wearable device inside the case's cradle, close it to protect the screen, and charge it up before wearing it again. The patent doesn't specifically divulge how many additional charges could be added onto the Apple Watch, but it does state that Apple has gone through a few embodiments of the case adding or removing additional band storage to make it slightly larger or smaller, apparently settling on storage for two bands in this iteration.

There are many portable third-party Apple Watch charging solutions on the market today, but some have downsides for users wanting to charge Apple Watch while traveling. Twelve South's TimePorter case, for example, lets users store a few bands and the Apple Watch charging puck, but it charges the Apple Watch on the outside of the case, so it isn't great for charging in a bag or suitcase.

As with any patent, Apple's Apple Watch charging case may never become available for users to purchase, but it is interesting to see what the company is considering to launch alongside future generations of the Apple Watch.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch 6
Tag: patent
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
34 months ago

Come on apple, do you really need a patent for a band storage case?

I see what you mean, but when a company literally copies a notch of your current phone you can't be too cautious. This protects them from lawsuits.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
Come on apple, do you really need a patent for a band storage case?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago
I don't know if this will be practical. The way I see the image, you'll have to disassemble the watch from the band to charge every time (i.e. if the watch body needs to slot into depression 230 or 214).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago

You say others are copying the notch. How likely is that this display is manufactured in high quantities , that these other phone makers are kind of stuck with it, because it's the cheaper direction to go? Just a thought.

Huh? If that's the case, then everybody will have the exact large notches like the iPhone X. But no, they all have variable sizes, and most of them are smaller since they don't use any advance front facing camera. They just do it as a trend.

Heck, the one I mentioned, Asus, didn't even bother going bezel-less, so having the notch is purely cosmetic design decision instead of necessity.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago

I see what you mean, but when a company literally copies a notch of your current phone you can't be too cautious. This protects them from lawsuits.

Or it prevents 3 party companies from making something that is similar at a cheaper price point. you watch (pun intended), this charging unit will be north of $100
[doublepost=1519743621][/doublepost]

I'm hoping this patent will see the light. It's interesting if the "band circuitry" is in the making. If it's true, then finally the accessory port has some useful features with the new "smart bands".
At least we'll get a power smart band that could extend the watch's life for, say, 3 extra days.

where is the accessory port on the AW3?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
34 months ago

Come on apple, do you really need a patent for a band storage case?

You must have missed the part about it being a charging device.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Top Stories: Apple Event Recap, Apple Watch Series 6, Redesigned iPad Air, and More

Saturday September 19, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week's news was obviously dominated by Apple's media event and the launch of iOS 14, but there was a lot to digest, so check out our summary below for the high-level view of the past week. With the exception of the massively redesigned iPad Air, all of the new hardware introduced this week is starting to appear on store shelves and on customers' doorsteps, while all of the new software...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...