The Apple Watch finally made its debut in 2015 and after a year on fans are already clamouring for a revision to its design. Apple aren't ones to let things rot and with an Apple Watch 2 reportedly in the works a filed patent reveals its next-generation could see it come with a built-in camera.
The lack of camera was something smartwatch fans were up in arms about at launch as there are a surprising few options for camera-toting timepieces in the market. Now, the Apple army may be able to take clandestine pics from their wrist too after patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office teased schematics that features a camera function.
One of the figures in the patent submission clearly shows the word 'camera' in the user interface section alongside the likes of 'display', 'audio jack' and 'microphone'. Also in the text of the document it refers to "a compact digital camera that includes an image sensor such as a CMOS sensor and optical components (e.g. lenses) arranged to focus an image onto the image sensor, along with control logic operable to use the imaging components to capture and store still and/or video images."
While Apple Watch owners have been waiting for one camera to turn up, if the patent holds any strength they could be seeing two of them, with one being specifically designed to take selfies. The patent read: "the camera can be disposed on the front surface to capture images of the user".
The idea of raising your wrist to take a self-snap makes a lot of sense – most of us hold our phones out at an arm's stretch anyway – and fitting a camera lens of similar size to the iPhone's front-facing unit could be feasible.
The patent describes how the non-selfie camera could be used to scan barcodes and QR codes in order to find out information about that item or see if discounts are available. There are currently plenty of apps for the iPhone that do this but we'd have to go to the effort of reaching into our pockets now, would we?
Will a camera actually feature in the Apple Watch 2? Well, patents should be taken with a pinch of salt. Thousands are filed by tech companies all the time with very few actually seeing the light of day. However, with many consumers crying out for a camera on their next Apple smartwatch, this wouldn't be out the realms of possibility. Little has been revealed as to when the Apple Watch 2 will be released but rumours are swirling we may see one come September as a co-star to the iPhone 7 announcement.