Apple Watch patent reveals how the company may make future models slimmer

“The patent shows multiple components can be housed in the same chamber to save space within the Apple Watch body”

Apple has granted been a patent by the USPTO that shows how the company may be able to make the watch slimmer and sleeker. The company aims to do that by changing the internals somewhat to combined multiple exposed chambers that house components that require exposure to the surrounding environments. These components may include the likes of barometers, speakers, etc., which cannot function without exposure to the environment around them.

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In the present Apple Watch models, components such as barometer, temperature sensor, speaker, etc are housed within the body but in chambers that are separate from each other. That means the barometer is located in cavity, the temperature sensor in a separate cavity, and the speaker in yet another cavity. These cavities are quite small in size but provide sufficient exposure to the elements. The patent describes a new implementation wherein multiple parts may be housed in the same chamber, which may be bigger than individual cavities but will occupy lesser space overall. Moreover, future Apple Watch models can have multiple such multi-component chambers.

A partial cross-sectional view of an example pressure-sensing element

The patent describes a chamber that houses both the barometer and the Apple Watch speakers. The chamber can have one or more openings, as required for the efficient working of the two components and for the air to pass unobstructed so that sound can pass from the speaker and pressure data can be collected by the barometer. In fact, the speaker diaphragm can also act as the barometric vent thanks to the new design, as per the patent.

A partial cross-sectional view of an example speaker

Similarly, the water seals used to protect the smartwatch from liquid damage may allow air to pass to the barometer but prevent the component’s contact with sweat, rain, light splashes of water, etc. This can also help elongate the life of water seals placed within the body of the smartwatch as less water comes in contact with them.

Designs such as these, as per the patent, will help ensure the components and chambers take up less space than now and future models can be more compact than the current Apple smartwatches.