The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Apple a new patent that describes the use of one or more cameras in a smartwatch, hinting at a possible version of Face ID for the Apple Watch.
Additionally, the patent — granted on November 19th — details a ‘smart band’ that could be used to analyze performance in sports. Apple applied for the patent in Septemeber 2017.
As far as the cameras go, 9to5Mac reports that the patent indicates they would be embedded in the face of the Apple Watch. It then describes various uses for the cameras, including capturing barcodes or QR codes. However, it also describes capturing images of the user, such as for video calls or Face ID.
The smart band, however, makes up the main focus of the patent. It details how sensors in the band could be used for coaching. For example, in baseball or golf, strain gauges could analyze the grip on the bat or club, while accelerometers and barometric sensors could analyze the swing.
Interestingly, the patent echoes and earlier Apple Watch patent that describes using smart band sensors for authenticating users, which could be called ‘Wrist ID.’
As with all patents like this, just because Apple got the patent doesn’t mean it’ll make it. Big tech companies like Apple often patent a variety of ideas but don’t always act on them.