Bendable screens have been conceptualised by Samsung, but the technology is still at an early stage. It’s unlikely we’ll see a full, wraparound display in 2018, but the patent could give a clue where Apple is heading with its Watch in the future.
Apple Watch 4 features and specs
The Series 2 brought GPS to the Apple Watch package, while the Series 3 brought cellular connectivity. The gradual shift of iPhone capabilities onto your wrist could continue with an in-built camera in the Series 4. Another patent spotted by Patently Apple appears to show an in-built selfie camera that could be used for future Watch devices.
While current Apple Watch models can remotely activate the camera on your iPhone, they can’t take pictures. Wrist-based selfies might be a bit of fun, but more useful would be the support of FaceTime for Star Trek-style video conversations on the move.
The Series 3 came with a comprehensive array of health-related sensors, but rumours suggest Apple’s next wearable could raise the game for heart-rate monitoring. Citing people “familiar with the plan”, a Bloomberg report from December 2017 claims Apple is developing an EKG heart monitor.
According to the site, a prototype involves wearers squeezing the device between two fingers, with an imperceptible current passing across the person’s chest and tracking electrical signals in the heart.
Whether or not this technology is ready and approved in time for the Apple Watch 4 remains to be seen. There are stringent testing requirements around medically approved devices, and Apple with have to negotiate these before an in-built electrocardiogram can be brought to market.
Aside from a camera and new health sensors, the Series 4 may include a bunch of iterative upgrades to things such as battery life and strength of cellular connectivity. A report by KGI Securities predicts that the next Apple Watch will use the liquid crystal polymer (LCP) circuit board tech currently used in the iPhone X and iPhone 8. This should make the wearable’s cellular antenna more stable for signal transmissions.