Patents are wonderful things as they often highlight ambitious or unlikely ideas, and a recent Apple Watch patent is one such example of that.
Published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on April 1, and spotted by Apple Insider, a patent titled “Blow event detection and mode switching with an electronic device” details the ability for an Apple Watch to respond to a “blow event”.
By that the patent literally means blowing on the watch, with it then responding in various possible ways, such as answering a call or pausing a song. So it would essentially be a gesture control, and it could also trigger different functions if for example you blow twice in a row.
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This might seem like something that there’s no need for, but as the patent points out, the Apple Watch is worn on one of your wrists, meaning that you can only interact with it with one hand, and if that hand is busy with something else – say, carrying your shopping or holding a drink, then you’re largely out of luck.
Voice inputs are one solution, but in a quiet environment, or one where you simply don’t want to use your voice, that’s not ideal either. So blowing is an alternative.
This system is also mentioned in relation to other portable devices, so it’s possible that a future iPhone could respond to your breath, but an Apple Watch seems the most obvious and likely use case – and the one the patent is most focused on.
So will we see this on the Apple Watch 7? While we can’t rule it out, it’s unlikely. Many patents don’t get developed into full features, and those that do sometimes take a long time to.
We’d guess this is one of those interesting ideas that will never make it beyond the idea stage, and if it does, it probably won’t arrive before the Apple Watch 8 or 9, but you never know.
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