“The Apple Watch will be getting solid state buttons that don’t move up and down but rather sense the touch of a finger, a source with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans tells Fast Company,” Mark Sullivan reports for Fast Company. “Apple will stick with the Watch’s current button configuration, with a button and a digital crown situated on one side of the device, but neither will physically click as before. Rather than reacting to the user’s touch by physically moving back and forth, the new buttons will vibrate slightly under the fingertip, using the haptic effect Apple calls the Taptic Engine. (The digital crown will still physically rotate to navigate through content.)”
“The new buttons could be part of the new Apple Watch the company will announce this fall, or, if not, will be included in the 2019 Watch, the source said,” Sullivan reports. “Solid-state buttons will make the Watch more water resistant because the opening needed for a physical button is eliminated. The solid-state controls also take up less space in the design, freeing up room for a bigger battery, the source said.”
“Apple has also been working on using the top of the buttons as sensors to gather health-related data such as heart rhythms,” Sullivan reports. “Longer-term, Apple’s industrial design group has been working toward a future Watch that has no buttons at all. Rather, specific areas on the side of the device would respond to finger touches.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Along with the moves from the mechanical iOS device Home Button to a solid state button area ad which is similar to how MacBook trackpads have evolved, this reminds us of the progression from the first iPod with its mechanical wheel that users actually spun with their fingers ringed with four physical buttons to the capacitive Touch Wheel and, finally, to the iPod’s capacitive Click Wheel.