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Apple’s latest patent means future Apple Watch may include camera

It's "Say cheese!" o'clock with your future Apple Watch

Each year, Apple releases a new model of the Apple Watch with new hardware and features packed inside. Many of these new features originate from patents, which Apple files to protect ideas for future use. And thanks to the tech giant’s latest patent, it looks like a future Apple Watch model may include a camera.

“A camera?”, you ask. Where would such an addition go? You may be thinking of some contraption that lifts out of the watch above your arm, but the answer is a lot simpler than that. It turns out Apple Watch already has the perfect place to house a camera – the Digital Crown.

First spotted by Patently Apple, Apple’s latest Apple Watch patent showcases a camera housed in the Digital Crown. The camera sensor would live inside the crown. Any extra processing hardware would live inside the smartwatch’s internals. Assumedly, the camera would remain unaffected when you turn the crown.

Image from Patently Apple

Now, you may be thinking of a massive flaw to this idea: what if the Digital Crown faces you? While you could change the Apple Watch’s orientation settings, Apple has a more elegant solution. The patent also details a new mechanism that would allow you to detach the Watch from its strap, allowing you to position it perfectly.

It’s a little tricky to imagine Apple changing up its mechanism for detaching the straps, as it’s already so easy. To feature the new system, the strap halves would need to remain joined underneath the watch, so as not to fall off your wrist. It would be possible with some GoPro-esque mount, but it doesn’t seem… well, Apple enough of a solution. Of course, this new feature remains a patent for now. Whether or not Apple decides to use the camera on a future Watch model remains to be seen.