Many features may have come and gone with each model of the Apple Watch released. But something that has been constant is its design. The rumour says that there is a possibility for the Apple Watch to ditch its Digital Crown for a touch-sensitive design. The interactive watch crown, which has been a staple throughout all the five generations of the Apple smartwatch, lets you scroll through and choose options in the watch menu.
Even ECG readings can be taken using the crown. Recently, Patently Apple has revealed that Apple is bringing in design changes by replacing Digital crown with a more svelte alternative. From the sketches in the patent, it looks like the crown will not be discarded totally. There is a new crown appearing to be at the case’s edge — similar to how the Side Button is fitted in the Apple Watches. At the moment, it is not quite clear how this design set up would work. But a sneak peek on the patent filing suggests that the new Digital Crown would be touch-sensitive which will be able to recognise various gestures. “The input component provides a user experience that simulates user interactions with a crown that is rotatable and/or translatable,” the patent reads. Apple says, “The motions and gestures provided by the user can be directly detected with optical systems of the input component so that the number of moving parts are reduced and space within the watch is more efficiently utilized,”. So according to Apple, minimizing the size of the Digital Crown is an advantage for the space it can save. This means that the smaller, built-in Digital Crown will reduce the case size and the space will be used more efficiently.
As with all patents, it should be remembered that the features suggested may or may not be reflected in the final product. But with Apple, the probability for a change in Digital Crown design is highly likely. Apple had previously done a design change in the Side Button that was once sticking out of the case to a button built tighter into the watch case. Anyways, the design change in Apple Watch Series 6 is unlikely. Maybe if we are lucky enough, the new Digital Crown can be seen in future generations.