A just-uncovered patent application has thrown light on new Apple plans for the much-rumoured iWatch. The Cupertino company appears to be hatching a plot to use low power Bluetooth to connect such a device to either a phone or computer, allowing it to access the web without eating up heaps of battery life.
The patent, unearthed by MacRumors, explains that the connection would only work at short range, say between an iPhone in your pocket and an iWatch on your wrist.
Proximity sensors would send a notification to pair the devices, so users can then receive texts, call info and other key services on their smartwatch.
The low power Bluetooth connection would mean the iWatch wouldn’t need to use its own Wi-Fi or 4G connection. That way it could access a network at given intervals in order to display details, without it dying after a few hours use.
While the iWatch is not mentioned by name, rumours of such plans have surfaced before, suggesting this is an approach Apple is at least keen to explore further in relation to its forthcoming foray into wearable tech.
Battery life on smartwatches is likely to be a key issue in their wider adoption. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear runs out of juice quickly, something that Tim Cook and co will want to avoid with the iWatch.