A new Apple patent reveals that the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown may soon be replaced with an optical sensor. This change could therefore happen as early as 2022 on the next Apple Watch Series 8.
As Patently Apple reports, Apple is preparing to abandon the digital crown of its Apple Watch Series 7, which can be found on the right edge of the company’s connected watches. A patent reveals that this digital crown which already makes it possible to navigate effortlessly in the watchOS interface without having to touch the screen could well be replaced by an optical sensor.
The patent is titled “Watch with optical sensor for user input” and shows how the company can use new sensors to allow users to navigate the interface. This optical sensor would use gestures to control the Apple Watch, replacing the current Digital Crown. Indeed, the optical sensor would be able to identify the user’s gestures without physical contact.
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The Apple Watch could see its autonomy increase if it abandons the digital crown
According to the Apple patent, removing the digital crown would also allow free up space within the smart watch. Space is precious in the Apple Watch, even more so than in the iPhone. The removal of an element as prominent as the digital crown could for example allow the installation of a larger battery or additional sensors.
We thought, for example, that the 2021 Apple Watch Series 7 would use a sugar sensor to monitor its owner’s blood glucose level, but it ultimately didn’t make it into the final model. Removing the digital crown could therefore allow Apple to finally integrate this sensor intended for people with diabetes.
The optical sensor could also measure heart rate, blood oxygen level, blood pressure and other biometric data. The arrival of such a sensor would also reduce the number of moving parts in the smartwatch.. We will have to wait several more months before knowing whether or not Apple intends to replace its digital crown in the next iteration of its Apple Watch connected watch.
Source: Patently Apple