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Apple has been granted a patent for a new Apple Watch band with an integrated NFC module, according to reports from Patently Apple. While the technology could enable a range of features, including dynamic UI changes and app toggling, there is concern that it could be used to crack down on third-party watch bands.
The patent outlines how the NFC chip inside the band can communicate with the NFC chip in the Apple Watch to identify which band is connected. The device can then use this information to adjust its UI or toggle different apps. However, the patent also describes a system where the band includes additional components like sensors for environment, biometric, or gesture data.
The patent also mentions a way for Apple to crack down on unauthorized third-party bands by disabling certain features or providing a warning through an output component of the device. This could allow Apple to maintain control over its accessory ecosystem and ensure that customers only use authorized bands.
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While this is an interesting development, it’s important to note that just because Apple has patented this technology doesn’t mean it will see the light of day. Apple patents a lot of things, and many of them never make it to market. However, the possibility of a color-changing band and now a band with an integrated NFC module shows that Apple is continuing to research new technology and accessories for the Apple Watch.