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A future Apple Watch could offer automatic color coordination with straps

This could open the door for improved watch face customization on Apple Watches.

Published onAugust 23, 2023

Apple Watch Face Stripes
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • Apple has filed a patent for watch faces that can be color-coordinated with clothing or watch straps.
  • The patent filing notes that users would be able to scan objects with a watch to customize the watch face.
  • This is just a patent filing, though, so don’t hold your breath for this tech to come to a future Apple Watch.

Apple Watches have long lacked third-party watch face support, but a new patent filing suggests Apple could open up watch face customization in a very different way.

AppleInsider spotted an Apple patent filing for a watch that can sample colors from clothing or a watch strap, then use this color data to customize the watch face itself. In other words, you could have watch faces that are color-coordinated with your watch band or T-shirt.

According to the USPTO filing, Apple proposes that a watch would have a light sensor behind the display to measure the color of external objects. The display would light up in various colors while the light sensor itself measures the reflected light from the external objects.

Do you try to color-coordinate your watch face with your straps?

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“The control circuitry may use a watch-band-specific algorithm to determine the color of watch bands and may use a clothing-specific algorithm to determine the color of clothing,” reads an excerpt of the filing. “The control circuitry may display the color on the display so that the face of the watch matches the user’s clothing or matches the user’s watch band.”

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen device displays that could be color-coordinated with accessories, though. Samsung offers a variety of NFC-equipped cases for the Galaxy Z Flip 5 foldable phone, with the phone’s wallpaper automatically matching the case via NFC. But it does seem like Apple’s take could potentially allow for even greater customization if you can physically scan objects.

It’s worth noting that this is just a patent filing, so there’s no guarantee this feature will see the light of day. But it certainly seems like a cool way to customize your smartwatch. So we wouldn’t be disappointed if Wear OS watches hop on this trend too.

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