Apple Watch was the best-selling smartwatch last year. Every year, Apple Watch gets new features and functionality. The challenge here is to add sensors for new features without making the device bulky. A new patent by Apple details how the company is planning on using curved laminated film sensors to make Apple Watch thinner and less bulky.
In the patent, Apple highlights the challenges when it comes to adding an optical sensor into a device. Apple Watch uses an optical sensor to measure the user’s heart rate, and the sensor is placed at the bottom of the watch. It also mentions how “optical components for providing an electronic device with desired functionality may be too bulky or unattractive to incorporate into the electronic device.”
The patent describes an optical sensor within a housing. The housing will feature a transparent portion that allows light to pass through the sensor and reflect from the user’s wrist or any part. The reflected ray falls on the photodetectors “after passing through light control members.”
The light control members are arranged in a curved manner, as shown above. Thanks to this arrangement, the engineers can save a considerable amount of space without having to compromise on the functionality of optical sensors. Furthermore, the light control members can be made with the help of “laminated bent light control films.” Interestingly, the light control module can be pressed into other shapes depending on the layout.