Apple Watch Hermes
Apple Watch 2 may feature gesture control through sign languageReuters

The Apple Watch 2 speculated to be revealed this year may have gesture controls making it possible to control the smartwatch with a few quick, specific finger movements including some sign languages. Using the sign language method, the paired iPhone will be able to recognise signs and convert them to spoken or written language.

The patent, which was filed in 2014 and approved this week by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), details plans for "motion and gesture input from a wearable device" meaning the smartwatch could use extra sensors, potentially included in the wristband, to track your hand, arm and finger movements. Those gestures could then be translated into commands for the device to carry out.

The patent filing details a lot of gestures such as pointing, waving and even extending the pinky and thumb in a "phone me" gesture that could all be used to initiate actions on either the Watch or the paired iPhone. Turning your palm-down and patting can decline an incoming phone call, lifting or dropping your palm could raise or lower the speaker volume and waving your hand sideways in front of you could turn a page in an ebook. See more examples below.

Apple Watch patent
The gestures and their corresponding commandsUSPTO

Apple states that the motive behind implementing this patent is to help those unable to use voice commands to perform actions. If this technology is implemented successfully it could potentially be a game-changer for people with auditory and speech disabilities.

We do not know for sure whether all these features or some of them will come in the Apple Watch 2 or a version after that but the timing of the patent and the fact that the Watch 2 will release sometime this year makes it highly possible. Apple updated the Watch OS two weeks ago, with the launch of watchOS 2.2.