According to a recently filed patent, a rugged Apple Watch good enough for scuba diving and other extreme water sports could hit the market.
According to a newly filed patent, a robust apple watch good enough for scuba diving and other extreme water sports might be on the horizon. The sports performance smartwatch market is currently dominated by brands like Garmin and Casio, which make products for a very niche audience. Garmin watches are generally famous among pilots. Meanwhile, Casio smartwatches are well-known among adventure sports enthusiasts and deep-sea divers.
Apple is also no stranger to making products sustainable. They started equipping iPhone 12 series smartphones with a ceramic screen, which had four times more drop resistance. Apple also provided the iPhone 13 with the same ceramic protection and installed tempered glass in the recently refreshed iPhone SE. Plus, the Apple Watch is also tougher than it looks. In one particular case, the Apple Watch was found at the bottom of a lake for two weeks and remained in working condition after being retrieved.
Additionally, just last year Apple launched the upgraded Watch Series 7 with a starting price of $399. It featured several upgrades over the previous generation, including an ever-larger retina display, fall detection during workouts, all-day battery life and more. The Watch Series 7 also features IP6x dust and WR50 water resistance. However, according to a recent report by Apple obviously, the high-grade water-resistance tech could make its debut on iPhones and likely a rugged Apple Watch. The report states that the patent was recently filed on March 31, 2022.
Apple Watch suitable for scuba diving: what it would look like
The newly filed patent reveals a water detection sensor with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membrane. It could be responsible for boosting the water resistance capabilities of iPhones and Apple Watch to a whole new level. Currently, most smartwatches and smartphones are rated IP68. However, the report alleges that Apple may soon start using the ATMOSPHERE or ATM classification to describe the water resistance of its devices, thanks to new technology. Apple might be considering a 20 ATM rating for its Rugged Watch, as that’s the water resistance rating required for deep sea scuba diving.
The patent details how ePTFE improves on current gel-filled sensors by offering considerable water resistance. It details how a self-contained water detector would replace the need for a system-wide vent membrane. Thus, providing intelligent context-based humidity detection, such as turning off the device on its own or alerting the user. The patent states that devices such as speakers and microphones can also be equipped with the water detector. According to the available information, a rugged Apple Watch with such technology would be very different from the current Watch series.
The rugged Apple Watch could look like a Casio G-shock with added rubberized protection around the screen, as reported last year Bloomberg report. It could also feature a thicker case for a bigger battery and a flat screen. Although most of the patents do not go into production, this one might as it has been widely reported by major sources. Of course, Apple would serve a niche market with its rugged smartwatch if that were to become a reality. But given Apple’s approach of dominating nearly every price segment, as evidenced by the sheer number of iPhone and iPad variants, a robust apple watch could soon become reality.
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