Apple's new Watch strap concept is utterly wild

The full range of Apple Watch SE 2s.
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch is one of the most customisable gadgets out there, with countless colour, body material and strap options available. But if a newly uncovered Apple patent is anything to go by, one day you might not need multiple straps to change up your look.

The patent imagines an Apple Watch strap with adjustable elements, letting the user change the colour in three different areas. It's all thanks to a technique known as Electro-chromism, in which an electrical current creates a reversible colour change. (Don't fancy waiting? Check out the best Apple Watch strap deals available now.)

An array of all the models of the Apple Watch Series 8.

A few of the countless Watch/strap combinations available (Image credit: Apple)

As spotted by Patently Apple, the filing describes a "fabric Apple Watch band that includes an electrochromic feature allowing colour-adjustable elements that could change the colour scheme and design in 3 distinct band zones to give the watch band a customisable look unique to the user."

And there could be a practical purpose to the colour changes. For example, the strap could change in appearance when a notification is received, or when the user fills one of their exercise rings.

A screenshot from an Apple patent showing a colour-changing Watch strap

A screenshot from the patent (Image credit: Patently Apple)

I'm in two minds about this one. On one hand, extra customisability can only be a good thing. But at the same time, the Apple Watch already means wearing your notifications – do we really want the rest of the world to see quite so clearly when we have an email, or when we inevitably haven't quite closed that movement ring? 

And then there's the question of cost. If this thing is going to reduce the need to buy multiple Apple Watch straps then you can bet it won't be cheap (this is the company that sells $700 wheels, remember).

But of course, like any Apple patent, time will tell whether this one, or some variation of it, will ever come to fruition. From teeth-controlled AirPods to iPad/MacBook hybrids, the company has had some pretty wild ideas over the last few years. But if you fancy something a little more real-world (but no less awesome), check out today's best Apple Watch Series 8 deals.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).