A new Apple patent reveals that the Apple Watch’s digital crown may soon be replaced with an optical sensor. As reported by Apple obviously, the possible optical sensor will use gestures to control the Apple watch, replacing the current Digital Crown. The optical sensor can also measure heart rate, blood oxygen level, blood pressure and other biometric data. The optical sensor in the new patent would most likely work the same as the Apple Watch’s digital crown. The user can move their finger in front of the optical sensor, and when the sensor detects the user’s gesture, the Apple Watch can use it to control the system or change the information displayed.
The optional Apple Watch optical sensor can be configurable to detect user gestures at different distances from the sensor. According to the patent, the sensor can be adjusted to detect movement when the user touches it or when the gesture is at a short distance from it.
While Apple’s patent “Watch with optical sensor for user input” is now a reality, that doesn’t mean Apple will certainly use this technology in an actual product.