Apple Watch owners will be all too familiar with the brands' proprietary watch bands. Love them for their ingenuity, or hate them for their inability to pair with other watches in you collection, they're undeniably a integral part of what makes the ever-popular smartwatch tick.
But have you ever wished your Apple Watch band could change colour to suit a particular outfit? Well, that could be on the cards, according to a patent filed by the company.
Made to sound like something halfway between a chameleon and a mood ring, the patent describes a band which can change colour both for fashion and to give information to the user. It uses "electrochromic features" which can be made to change colour when a voltage is applied.
The primary use case for the technology seems to be fashion-based, with Apple keen to enable users to match their outfit choices without having to physically change their strap. However, it also mentions the ability to give users notifications. Quite how that would work is unclear – perhaps users would be able to program specific light shows to indicate who was messaging them, or could use a command to get a visual representation of their health rings.
The patent also suggests the ability to portray shapes and letters as part of the offering, via three separate sections on the band. In theory, that could mean messages and other information could be shown, revolving around the band like the digital signage seen outside of stock exchanges.
As with all patents, don't bank on this coming to market anytime soon. Companies – particularly big players like Apple – will often patent all kinds of technologies, with no guarantee of them ever seeing the light of day.
I certainly hope this one does, though. Being able to manipulate the appearance of your watch strap on the fly is an appealing concept, which could make it easier than ever to personalise your device. Add in a smattering of useful notifications-based goodness and you've got the recipe for a neat upgrade.