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Apple granted patent for self-adjusting Watch bands

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Do you remember the auto-adjusting jacket and power-lacing shoes in Back to the Future? Well, Apple is applying the same logic to Apple Watch bands based on a new patent the company was recently granted.

As AppleInsider reports, the patent is entitled “Dynamic fit adjustment for wearable electronic devices.” If Apple delivers on what the patent promises, it means future Apple Watch bands will self-adjust to fit your wrist. There will be no fastener, you simply slide it over your wrist and the watch does the rest.

Unlike losing a headphone jack on a smartphone, watch wearers may actually appreciate losing a fastening clasp on their smart timepiece. Instead, Apple is proposing the use of a tensioner to “control one or more actuators that are mechanically coupled to either the housing or to a band attached to the wearable electronic device.”

The advantage of such a system beyond convenience is better-fitting watch bands. Because the adjustment is much more fine-grained, it will fit better regardless of the wrist size.

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The final implementation of the tensioning system has yet to be decided with the patent suggesting several methods including memory wire, internal ratcheting, or fluid bladders. As this is Apple, the thickness of the band will need to be kept to a minimum and that will certainly heavily influence the decision of which solution to use.

The self-adjusting bands will use a predetermined set of criteria to activate the adjustment. So the Apple Watch will sense somehow that it has been placed on your wrist and proceed to tighten. Biometrics will surely play a part in that process. User adjustment will also be key and handled through the Watch touchscreen interface.

It’s not often a gadget appears for sale that feels like it’s from the future. Placing an Apple Watch on your wrist and watching it perfectly self-tighten would certainly count as one. Will Apple succeed in perfecting it, though?

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

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