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Apple Watch, the Digital Crown becomes a joystick in a patent

Apple Watch, undoubtedly, it is the most widespread smartwatch in the world: thanks to him (and to AirPods) the Cupertino company excels in the market, and every year it is proposed without distorting either the design or the essence. The last model released is the Series 5, presented on September 10th on the stage of the Steve Jobs Theater, focused on improving specifications and functionality compared to the previous generation.

One of the aspects that characterizes the Apple smart watch is certainly the Digital Crown – "the secret ingredient", we had defined it at launch in 2014 – which allows the wearer of the device to navigate easily within the interface without necessarily interacting in touch mode with the finger which, given the small size of the display, would almost obstruct it completely the vision.

As with the smartwatch, Digital Crown is also called upon to improve itself over time: this is what makes us think of the patent filed by Apple in August 2018 and published today by the USPTO, which describes the operation of a "input mechanism for an electronic watch that includes a rotational manipulation mechanism"Simply put, we talk about the Digital Crown or, better, its possible evolution.

In summary, the wheel would in this case be equipped with two distinct surfaces that would simulate the operation – and movement – of a joystick. Each of the surfaces is then equipped with capacitive elements for interaction with the finger, and would be independent of the other, thus allowing the user to impart multi-directional controls. A mechanism is also provided which automatically returns the "joystick" to a central position, waiting for new input from the smartwatch wearer.

There are many patents filed by Apple (also) for its watch: just think of the straps attached to the wrist and those with smart functions, the integrated camera and the subcutaneous scan for unlocking. In short, not everyone turns into reality, but actually an even more flexible Digital Crown could do for those who don't want to give up on the smartwatch.