A new patent has emerged which is set to have a major influence over the Apple Watch 2. We should perhaps be cautious about jumping to conclusions about this patent, as Apple applies to have new forms of technology patented on an extremely regular basis. But the design for a new woven band would seem to be the sort of innovation that Apple will be able to include in the next generation Apple Watch at fairly short notice.

It is notable that with the last generation Apple Watch, the consumer electronics giant placed a significant emphasis on face and strap choices. Apple may move away from this somewhat with the Apple Watch 2, with a more pronounced focus on functionality. Nonetheless, the basic ethos of the Apple Watch is likely to be retained with the Apple Watch 2, and that this will mean offering consumers a significant choice with regard to customization.

Apple Watch 2 patent

Strap technology patented

It is intriguing then to consider this new band technology which has already been submitted by the California-based company to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patented details are centered around an extremely intricate sounding technique, which involves the weaving of light-transmissive fibres into fabric. This is technology which comes across as something out of science fiction, but ultimately results in an intelligent material which can also be used as a simple alternative display.

Potential uses of the new innovation in the Apple Watch 2 could include utilizing the band in order to display the time, communicating notifications to users, or possibly some form of alert related to low battery status. Essentially, this new technology offers the opportunity for Apple to make the Apple Watch 2 more user-friendly than its predecessor.

Although this technology can be most obviously associated with the Apple Watch, it is also suggested according to the text of the patent that Apple could also utilize other aspects of its product range in collaboration with this strap. The technology can bring similar visual indicators to straps designed to be used with the iPad and iPod range. There is also the potential to include the woven fabric in an additional notification display supplied with the MacBook laptop range.

This new strap could play a significant role in the Apple Watch 2, which is generally predicted to be released at some point in the second quarter of 2016. News from East Asia this week has suggested that Apple will release the iPhone 6s in the early months of next year, which would free up the consumer electronics giant to unveil the Apple Watch 2 possibly in March ahead of an April release.

Apple Watch 2 patent

Apple Watch 2 to build on Apple Watch performance

There are two possible contrasting perceptions of the initial Apple Watch release. On the one hand, it could be asserted that Apple has yet to establish the smartwatch as a mainstream device. Conversely, it could also be suggested that as Apple now controls 95 percent of the smartwatch market, the number of units it has shifted does indeed represent a success. There are still question marks over the viability of the smartwatch as a long-term product, but Apple is certainly extremely well-placed to dominate this technology niche.

Aside from the strap option, there has already been significant media speculation about the design and specifications that Apple may include in the Apple Watch 2. According to early reports, the Apple Watch 2 will have a similar appearance to the last generation of the smartwatch. Apple will not offer a circular variant of the device, and will instead stick to the same rectangular screen that it popularized this year. The body is also expected to be similar to the original Apple Watch, with little desire for massive physical changes at Apple considering the dominance of the smartwatch in the marketplace.

One interesting report from 9to5Mac, though, claims that the display in the Apple Watch 2 will be somewhat slimmer than in the original Apple Watch. This push for slimness would certainly correlate with trends in other areas of the consumer electronics industry.

Apple Watch 2 patent

Apple Watch 2 specifications

It is expected that the Apple Watch 2 will come complete with a more powerful central processing unit, and a bigger battery pack. The latter of these two improvements will be particularly welcome, as the regularity of recharging required with the original Apple Watch was certainly a criticism of the device.

It has also been reported that Apple will utilize a wider range of materials in the construction of the Apple Watch 2. Tungsten, palladium, and platinum have all been mentioned, and this will help contribute to an even wider range of Apple Watch varaints for consumers to choose from.

A leaked report from close to the Apple supply chain also suggests that the corporation is currently working on a new Sport version of the Apple Watch, which will be significantly waterproof. It has been perpetually rumored that Apple will also work on ensuring that the iPhone 7 is waterproof when it is released next year, and thus the two devices will collaborate in this regard.

Health-tracking focus

The waterproof nature of the Apple Watch 2 also suggests that Apple will focus on improving the health-tracking functionality in this next generation smartwatch. Certain planned aspects of the original Apple Watch had to be abandoned after the corporation experienced technical difficulties. It is possible that these will finally see the light of day with the Apple Watch 2, and that the device will be a more flexible performer than the original smartwatch.

What will be particularly interesting to note with the Apple Watch 2 is how Apple deals with the existing Apple Watch owners The company really needs to deliver a superior Apple Watch 2 product in order to attract new users. But watches are a consumer product generally expected to last for many years, so Apple certainly cannot abandon the original Apple Watch consumers.

The release of the Apple Watch 2 represents a delicate balancing act for the Cupertino-based company, and Apple must be careful how it integrates new features such as the rumored band.