Apple Watch models could get slimmer as Apple patent reveals haptic motor in wristband

“Apple is investigating the possibility of transferring Apple Watch’s haptic feedback mechanism from the device chassis to its wrist strap, a design that would allow for a much thinner product, according to a patent application discovered Thursday,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Capable of alerting its wearer to incoming alerts and other notifications, the proposed band promises to deliver an identical experience to Apple Watch’s internal Taptic Engine minus the bulk,” Campbell reports. “According to the document, the proposed band incorporates hardware —including but not limited to electromagnetic technology, piezoelectric technology, and/or electroreactive polymers —that allows the band to move laterally or side-to-side with respect to the host device. Other embodiments call for the band to move up and down or rotate around an axis.”

“Current Apple Watch iterations are relegated to the back-and-forth motion of a linear actuator. Called the Taptic Engine, Apple’s in-house haptic solution is able simulate a multitude of tactile signals, including taps and shakes, thanks to special software-driven damping technology,” Campbell reports. “While not explicitly described in today’s filing, the haptic band would likely attach to, and subsequently receive instructions from, its host watch through a hardwired connection. Perhaps not coincidentally, Apple Watch already sports a non user-serviceable diagnostics port capable of transferring both data and power to the wearable.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Smartbands™.

Whoever comes up with an accurate Apple Watch smartband that acts as a non-invasive blood glucose monitor (reverse iontophoresis) is going to make a mint.MacDailyNews, August 24, 2015

• Oh yes, let there be add-on GPS, battery extenders, and more! The thought of wearing our Apple Watch Sports but also having to lug around our iPhones on runs just for the GPS is unpalatable.MacDailyNews, March 5, 2015

We can’t wait to see where the future leads for Apple Watch especially in the areas of speed (apps need to respond faster) and independence (less reliance on iPhone, perhaps via Apple “smartbands” that deliver things like GPS tracking for runners, extended battery life, etc.) — MacDailyNews, December 17, 2015

We would love to see Apple launch Apple Smartbands that add sensor and other functionality to Apple Watch. An Apple GPS Smartband and an Apple Battery Smartband, right now, would sell like wildfire. It’s a missed opportunity for the original Apple Watch’s first Christmas, but we hope to see such items in 2016. — MacDailyNews, December 11, 2015

If Apple were to release a range of “Apple Smartbands” for the existing Apple Watch, starting with the “Apple Smartband GPS,” they would sell millions more Apple Watch units with this move alone. — MacDailyNews, February 19, 2016

Analyst: Apple smartbands are a part of the Apple Watch’s future – April 8, 2016
Apple patent application hints at Apple Watch ‘Smartbands’ utilizing hidden 6-pin data connector – February 20, 2016
Apple likely to debut new Apple Watch bands at March event – January 27, 2016
‘Smartbands’ won’t stop Apple from releasing new Apple Watches every year – August 24, 2015
Charging the Apple Watch using its 6-pin accessory port – May 28, 2015
Apple Watch houses mysterious six-contact data connection port – March 5, 2015
Apple Watch’s hidden port a goldmine for developers, accessory makers – May 4, 2015


  1. Come on. The Haptic Engine is a core part of the UX. Apple is not going to move it out of the watch and onto the wristband … What happens when someone swaps out the wrist band? No more haptic feedback. It’s nonsensical to think that would happen.

    1. That’s what I thought. Then my dad bought me one and I started wearing it daily. There are a number of features that have helped me significantly:
      1) It displays the next appt. on my calendar. I’m forever missing appointments (absent minded) and this is really helping.
      2) I downloaded a grocery list app on my phone and my wife’s phone, and we share lists that appear on my watch. It’s much easier to glance down at your watch than taking out my iphone, unlocking it, and viewing the app. Doesn’t seem like a big thing but it really is for me.
      3) When my phone is on the charger in the bedroom and I’m out in the garage I can pick up a call and walk back into the house and grab my phone. Very helpful.
      4) Heart rate monitor is valuable to me and I wear the watch to sleep to see how I do for 24 hour periods… and the battery life on version 2 is good enough to do that.

      There are other features I like, but these are the big ones.

      Will I stop wearing my high end timepieces and only wear this? No. But it’s useful…

  2. Even though ApplePay isn’t “everywhere” yet… it’s in enough places to be able to make it through a day of “forgetting your wallet at home.”

    Seriously, being able to buy some food, get a haircut, and purchase some gas, all from my watch (left the phone in the car because I could!) was a life saver.

    There are a ton of reasons that Apple Watches are helpful, but ApplePay might be the “killer app” for it still.

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