One of the first smartwatches to hit the market, Samsung‘s Galaxy Gear, had an integrated camera. It wasn’t a big hit and with Apple Watch soon taking over much of the market, cameras on smartwatches were largely abandoned as a concept.
The patent describes a watch with a camera integrated into the crown, and there would also be a light emitter that would help when taking a photo in low light conditions.
The problem with cameras on smartwatches is that it’s an idea that sounds good on paper, but when you actually have to point your wrist in some direction to take a photo it gets awkward fast. But Apple has a solution for that: the patent describes the possibility of the watch being detached from the wrist to take photos more freely.
Note that the patent was actually filed in 2019, so it’s quite possible that Apple has since given up on the idea. Furthermore, the fact that a company has filed a patent for a feature does not guarantee that the feature will actually become reality. If you’re aching for a way to take photos from your wrist, though, you may now continue to dream.
As for what we can actually expect from Apple’s next Watch, likely due to launch in the fall, reports say that it might have a new, flatter design, and several new health-related features, including blood-pressure monitoring, thermometer, and sleep tracking. A rugged version of the Watch, aimed at athletes and hikers, might be in the works as well.