There Digital Crown has always been one of the distinctive elements of Apple Watch, but a new patent lays the foundation for its future elimination, or at least it is clear that the Cupertino company is working to find alternative solutions.
The documentation attached to the patent entitled “Watch with optical sensor for user input” describes a modification that would see the elimination of the Digital Crown in favor of new optical sensors positioned in the same area of the body, designed to identify the user’s gestures and provide for many other functions. The intention is to reduce the moving parts of the smartwatch to free up space for inserting other sensors, or even a larger battery.
The documentation describes several examples of interaction through gestures that the optical component will allow, certainly higher than those offered by the current physical component.
The current Digital Crown (from series 4 onwards) also houses the ECG sensor for cardiac detection, but the patent also takes this aspect into consideration, highlighting that optical sensors can be used for this purpose and not only: for example of their use as an all-in-one system for monitoring respiratory rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation and other monitoring functions., all in line with the latest rumors about new health and fitness features for upcoming models .
As always, we must remember that the presence of a patent on the subject is never a guarantee of future application, furthermore in this specific case we are talking about the replacement of a fundamental component and as such it would require a considerable redesign. While it is difficult to speculate on the timing of application, it is safe to believe that the 2022 models will still feature a classic Digital Crown. What do you think, is this a sensible modification or do you consider the Digital Crown an indispensable component of your Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments.