Official filings published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have revealed Apple has experimented with the possibility of adding camera functionality to the Apple Watch in the form of a special camera-equipped Apple Watch band.
The documents describe a band that would be flexible enough for users to angle it as desired, with the lens itself having the ability to rotate on the end of the band for complete flexibility.
The filings include various illustrations of how the band and camera could be positioned, including one where the camera hovers just above the Apple Watch’s display.
A camera on the Apple Watch would allow users to capture photos and also presumably take FaceTime calls on the go. Within the patent, Apple describes the possibility of multiple optical sensors, suggesting that a future Apple Watch band could have both front and rear cameras, allowing users to switch between views like on the iPhone.
The patent (#10,331,083) was filed by Apple back in 2016, though it is unclear if Apple has continued its efforts to bring a camera to the Apple Watch since then.
Though the design shown in the illustrations isn’t very sleek, it would mean users would have the freedom to take images without having to awkwardly twist their wrist, or blindly point their watch at the subject they are trying to capture.