Apple was recently granted a patent, titled “Watch having a camera” by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In the patent, the company describes a way to integrate a camera into the Apple Watch either by using a detachable housing or fitting the camera lens into the existing Digital Crown of the Apple Watch.
“The watch can include a housing having a front side, a back side, and an attachment interface configured to couple to a watch band. A camera can be mounted to the housing and configured to capture a picture of a scene through the back side of the housing. A display can be visible through the front side of the housing and configured to display the picture,” reads the patent.
In the above proposition, Apple says that you would be able to take your watch off and point it towards a scene to capture an image via the backside of the watch. However, that will be quite a task and many users might miss the right moment for capturing a scene with their Apple Watch.
In another proposal, Apple suggests that the camera lens can be integrated into the Digital Crown of the Apple Watch and use its display as a viewfinder. Although the patent does not provide solutions for possible issues with the design. It only focuses on ways of integrating a camera into the Apple Watch.
“[A] watch can include a rotatable dial, such as a rotatable crown used for digital inputs. A camera can be included in the assembly to allow for images to be captured through an aperture extending through the dial,” the patent reads further.
The patent also says that the camera flash could also be used for “physiological sensing” when the watch is worn on the wrist. Additionally, Apple says that the image sensor in the Apple Watch can serve multiple purposes such as processing a picture and detecting the “rotation of the dial for sensing rotational inputs.” However, it is worth noting that fitting a camera lens into the Digital Crown could be pretty difficult, considering the already-complex mechanics of the crown.
Moreover, if Apple is considering an Apple Watch model with a built-in camera, it needs to put focus on the privacy concerns of the tech. This is due to the fact that users could use the Apple Watch camera to capture images of individuals without them knowing about it.
However, as it is an Apple patent that we are talking about, chances are it might not even see the light of the day anytime soon. It could take years before Apple eventually integrates the tech into its Apple Watch models. So, we suggest you take this information with a pinch of salt and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.