The Digital Crown on the Apple Watch is one of its most distinctive visual features. It not only helps users navigate the watch’s interface without having to touch the screen but also enables some functions like locking or unlocking the screen, etc.
However, according to the rumors, Apple might be revising the watch’s design by removing the Digital Crown and replacing it with optical sensors instead.
As reported by Patently Apple, a new patent has been published this week from the Cupertino-based tech giant that reveals how the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch can be replaced with optical sensors placed right where the Digital Crown is currently located. This action will be taken in an attempt to reduce the number of moving parts in the watch.
In turn, the optical sensors would detect the gestures made by users and turn them into system controls, which will be used to operate the smartwatch. The report states that removing the Digital Crown will not only make the smartwatch more durable but will also free up some space that can be utilized by other components such as new sensors or a larger battery.
Additionally, an optical sensor opens up the possibilities for measuring a rich set of biometrics, which includes options like heart rate monitoring, blood oxygenation level, blood volume estimate, and blood pressure measurement.
It should be noted, however, that all of the above is still currently just an idea that is yet to meet its real-life application. While Apple may even be working towards its implementation, it may take a while before it actually makes its way to a consumer Watch Series model.