A patent for a wireless charging Apple Watch carrying case — among a stack of 26 Apple patents approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office today — hints at future development of so-called “smart bands,” Patently Apple reports. The case is similar to the proposed AirPods wireless charging case, able to securely hold and charge the Apple Watch itself, but the more interesting wording in the patent discusses circuitry that can “charge one or more bands” also stored in the case, provided those bands have electronic components. Apple has been rumored to be working on “smart bands” since 2015 that would use the hidden port data port on Apple Watch to add new functionality to the device, possibly monitoring things like blood oxygen levels, respiratory rate, and body temperature. No such bands have yet materialized, either from Apple or from a third party, but Apple mentioning the possibility in its own patent filings gives at least some support to the idea being considered, even if it never ships in a final form.
Dan Pye was a news editor at iLounge. He's been involved with technology his whole life, and started writing about it in 2009. He's written about everything from iPhone and iPad cases to Apple TV accessories.