Apple Watch Series 3 Prototype May Show Contacts for Potential 'Smart Bands'

Apple may have tested "Smart Bands" for the Apple Watch, according to a new image of a prototype device.

apple watch series 3 contacts prototype
The image, shared by developer and prototype collector Giulio Zompetti, shows two metal contacts inside an Apple Watch Series 3 prototype's band slot, either side of the diagnostic port. Zompetti postulated that the "two unusual pads are exposed to the band," and may be a kind of iPad-like "Smart Connector," much like those from various iPad models, used to accommodate a "Smart Band."

Apple has filed a large number of patents around smart Apple Watch bands, indicating that it is something that the company has actively considered. Some patents showed how features such as biometric authentication, self-tightening, and LED progress indicators could be integrated into a band, while others explained a modular approach with batteries, displays, cameras, blood pressure sensors, and more.

The Apple Watch's hidden diagnostic port was once speculated to facilitate Smart Bands. At the time, the diagnostic connector, which is purportedly based on the design of the Lightning connector, was said to be capable of supporting future accessories.

Third-party accessory makers were able to develop an external battery band that could charge the Apple Watch through the diagnostic port, but changes to the Apple Watch's software prevented the strap from ever coming to market. However, other smart bands not reliant on the diagnostic port have become available in recent years.

In the past, Zompetti has shared images of prototype versions of the original Apple Watch, first-generation iPad, third-generation iPod touch, and iPhone 12 Pro.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Mac Spec Avatar
17 weeks ago
Former Apple Retail employee here - early Apple Watches were "imaged" via a hardwired connection through those ports. The tool was black plastic with pins that matched up with what is shown in the photo. These were used for the watches in the display table table - the ones not touched by customers.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
17 weeks ago

Fair, but how about a battery that lasts a full day?
My AW4 when new lasted me 2 days…
It all depends on your usage…
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
easy4lif Avatar
17 weeks ago
I’m actually surprised apple never allowed or introduced smart bands. Extra battery, more sensors, health monitor.

such potential!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
subi257 Avatar
17 weeks ago

A band that gives you one week battery life would be nice.
But you would need one for both arms so that one doesn't look wimpy compared to the one with the 3lb battery.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fwmireault Avatar
17 weeks ago
Imagine trying to update your smart bands firmware on your S3, and you don’t have enough storage to update

oh wait…
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
17 weeks ago

Wishful thinking…
It is literally a wish, my SE already lasts me 2 days, so the band would just have to provide two times the built-in battery, not a stretch per se...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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