Will Apple Watch Series 3 Feature Manual Winding Mechanism?


The original Apple Watch users complained about its battery life. Apple almost doubled the wearable device’s battery life with Series 2. A patent filed by Apple indicates that the company is exploring technologies to ensure that the future Watch’s battery never runs out of charge. Only time will tell whether the technology would be used in the next-gen Apple Watch Series 3.

Photo by fancycrave1 (Pixabay)

How it would work

On Thursday, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a patent filed by Apple in August 2016. The patent application titled “Connector-free magnetic charger/winder,” describes a charging system that applies a rotational magnetic field to move an electric generator. The resultant charge could be stored in a power reservoir such as a battery cell.

Apple Watch Series 3 -1
Image Credit: Apple Inc. / USPTO (screenshot)

Alternatively, the Cupertino company could get a little old-fashioned and use the same magnetic field to wind a coil or spring. Similar to the old-school mechanical watches, the coil exerts a rotational force on a series of gears to generate electric power that can then be used to enhance the device’s internal battery. Though turning the Digital Crown to fully charge an Apple Watch would consume a lot of time, the technology could produce sufficient power to get you home without running dry.

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It could also be used in smartphones and tablets

According to Apple Insider, the charging station is configured to spin a master rotor that is coupled to a slave rotor. The slave rotor follows whenever the master rotor spins. Apple has kept the wearable housing magnetically neutral. But both the master and slave rotors are made using a magnetic material, and their polarities would be oriented to generate a magnetic flux effect.

Apple Watch Manual Winding
Image Credit: Apple Inc. / USPTO (screenshot)

Apple says in its filing that the technology could be used in smartwatches, smartphones, and even tablets. But it is most suitable for the Apple Watch, which already has a Digital Crown for navigation. It’s worth pointing out that Apple files hundreds of patents every year, and not all of them make it into final products. Since the Cupertino company is focused on making its devices slimmer and more powerful, the technology may not debut with the Apple Watch Series 3.

Apple Watch Series 3 to launch with iPhone 8

Last month, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes reported that the Apple Watch Series 3 would be unveiled alongside the iPhone 8 in September. It will remain similar to the Series 2 Watch in terms of design, though there will be improvements in battery life and performance. One reason Apple may not change the Apple Watch Series 3’s design is that the Watch is considered a “timeless item” that doesn’t require frequent exterior changes like an iPhone.

Supply chain sources told DigiTimes that Quanta would manufacture the next-gen Watch. Quanta was also responsible for the original and second-generation Apple Watch. There have been speculations that Apple could switch to micro-LED screens that offer improved color gamut and brightness.

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