Apple’s patent applications details Apple Watch’s Digital Crown

“On June 18, 2015, the European Patent Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their invention related to the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “The patent reviews an input Friction Mechanism that provides the Digital Crown with its haptic feedback and more.”

“Apple’s invention generally relates to inputs of electronic devices, and more particularly relates to rotary inputs used with electronic devices such as the Apple Watch and its Digital Crown,” Purcher reports. “According to one broad aspect of one embodiment is an apparatus for an electronic device that provides haptic feedback by controlling an application of friction to a rotary input control with a shaft.”

Purcher reports, “Apple notes that in one example, the electronic device may be configured in the form of a wearable health assistant that provides health-related information (whether real-time or not) to the user, authorized third parties, and/or an associated monitoring device.”

Read more, and see Apple’s patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This gives you an idea of the tremendous amount of thought and work that went into Apple Watch and why the Digital Crown’s motion feels so well-built, buttery, and luxurious.


  1. The Digital Crown is a miniaturized version of the original (1st gen) iPod’s “wheel.” It physically rotates to scroll through a list of items. The center button is like pressing the crown.

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