Apple has just filed a patent application for an upcoming connected watch with built-in camera on Thursday, March 23. A module with a strange design and very varied applications. In particular, it should allow you to use Face ID without your iPhone.

A next Apple Watch could integrate a photo module above the bracelet, according to a patent application from the Californian firm. // Source: Apple

After rumors about an upcoming Facebook connected watch equipped with cameras, it’s Apple’s turn to work on a similar design. According a patent application filed in the United States by the Californian firm on Thursday March 23, the brand could develop an Apple Watch model equipped with a photo and video module.

An idea that Apple had already proposed in August 2022, recalls the news site Gizmodo in an article dedicated to the patent. The firm is developing its idea in detail this time: this module could be placed on the bracelet of the connected watch and could do much more than take photos or videos.

A camera placed outside the box

Indeed, Apple does not seem to plan to integrate this module like a classic smartphone front camera. According to the patent application, this camera for smartwatch would place itself in a protrusion» out of the watch case, placed above or below the screen.

An image in the document shows that it could be placed at a 45 degree angle to the dial, ” resting or being tiedon the Apple Watch strap, details Gizmodo . An unorthodox design which should not however prevent users from removing or changing this bracelet, the patent evoking a “circuit flexible» connecting the camera connected to the box while providing a form of sealing.

Other technical characteristics mentioned over the 35 pages of administrative information: different camera opening widths would be considered as well as a definition of 12 megapixels for this module, the same quality as the front camera of the latest Apple iPhone 14 . The camera could also could “record videos at 1440p, in 2K or 4K and at 30 or 60 frames per second“, accordingGizmodo.

Face ID and video conferencing on the wrist

This is not the first time that Apple has considered integrating a camera into its connected watches. In May 2022, another patent application detailed asmartwatchallowing you to film your environment. This time, this module would instead be turned towards the face of the wearer of the watch.

The patent application is quite exhaustive on the possibilities of this technology: “facial recognition, fingerprint detection, QR code scanning, video conferencing, biometric tracking (e.g. heart rate tracking), photography, video or image capture, or any combination of these“. You could therefore, eventually, unlock your smartphone with your watch via Face ID or make video calls with a simple movement of your wrist.

Of course, this project remains an idea: even if this patent is validated, the final photo module design for Apple Watch could be very far from this first draft. Similarly, Apple may never enforce it, like several previous patents. But it confirms that the Californian firm is not afraid to enlarge its connected watches if it allows to add more functionalities, as was the case for the Apple Watch Ultra of 2022.

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