The newest Apple Watch could have a digital crown capable of many functions based on applied pressure, a patent application hints.
Patent application number 20180024683, published by Fletcher Rothkopf, director of product design at Apple, says:
“An input mechanism, such as a crown, detects amounts of applied force. In various examples, an assembly including an input mechanism has an enclosure; a stem coupled to the enclosure such that the stem is rotatable, translatable, and transversely movable with respect to the enclosure; a sensor, coupled between the stem and the housing, to which force is transferred when the stem moves with respect to the housing; and a processing unit coupled to the sensor. The processing unit is operable to determine a measurement of the force, based on a signal from the sensor.”
Force Touch and digital crowns are nothing new for Apple. Force Touch is already a big feature of the watch’s screen, allowing the user to apply more pressure to the screen to access further functions, something which is also trickling its way into many of Apple’s first and third party apps.
A Force Touch and digital crown combo however could see smartwatches become even smarter.
With current Apple Watch models, the digital crown can be tapped, double tapped, held down to access Siri, or rotated to zoom in and out of the display, reports Forbes, or to unlock the watch if you have a swim-friendly model.
Adding Force Touch to the equation will enhance the control options developers can implement into their apps, Forbes concludes.