Apple Watch Series 8 may come with a touch-sensitive button

Apple has filed some patents indicating that it is considering next-generation Force Touch technology, which could appear in future Apple Watch, AirPods, or iPhone models.

PatentlyApple (via 9to5Mac) discovered the patents filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office, which are about force-pressure sensors and their various uses in various Apple devices.

One of the patents discusses the use of force sensors in “small form factor devices,” which could refer to Apple Watches and AirPods. The patent depicts an Apple Watch with a pressure-sensitive side button, which could enable more features on a future model like the Series 8 without the need for additional physical buttons.

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Another patent concerns pressure sensors in smart bands, which allow them to detect blood pressure and pulse wave velocity. It’s been rumored for a long time that future Apple Watch models will include more health features like blood pressure monitoring and blood sugar levels, though it’s unclear how far away this will be.

Another patent described how microelectromechanical fluid pressure sensors could be used in the trackpad of the MacBook or beneath the display of the iPhone to “precisely detect small or gradual changes in force.”

This is similar to the functionality of 3D Touch, which has since been replaced in iPhones by Haptic Touch. Though it was more difficult to implement than Haptic Touch, 3D Touch technology allowed for slightly more features such as Peek and Pop. Perhaps the patent’s new technology will allow for the same features as 3D Touch, but with a more straightforward delivery.

Remember that a patent filing doesn’t guarantee that a feature will be released, so don’t get your hopes up just yet. However, an Apple Watch with a pressure-sensitive button or buttons would be a good idea.

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Source: 9to5Mac VIA: pocket-lint

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