Force Touch is one of those features on the Apple Watch that feels a bit underused or one that people simply forget it's even there. A new patent filed by Apple though could change that by bringing the haptic feedback technology over to the Digital Crown.
The patent application for a force-detecting input structure was filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office and makes reference to an input mechanism, such as a crown that detects amounts of applied force. It also mentions the idea of one or more force sensors being integrated into a device and includes a flow chart that illustrates an example method for detecting force applied to a crown.
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Adding the technology to another part of the smartwatch, particularly the crown, seems like a feasible move from Apple and could see the use of the feature increase. It could also convince a few more app developers to consider integrating Force Touch support into any future or existing applications for the Watch.
If you need a reminder exactly how Force Touch works, this is the gesture-based sensor technology that's baked into the screen of the Apple Watch. It's able to detect when you're tapping on the screen or pressing down on it unlocking the ability to access additional features. It currently works with all native Watch apps including Music, Maps and Workout apps. It also works with a bunch of third party Apple Watch apps too.
Currently the digital crown can be pressed, double clicked, held down (for Siri access) and turned to zoom in and out of the screen or unlock the screen if you have a swim-friendly version of the Watch.
While it might not seem like the most radical addition to the Apple Watch, we'd definitely take any new feature that improves the way you can interact with the smartwatch and this would certainly help that. Now we wait to see if it's an Apple Watch feature we see in the next iteration, for one further down the line, or it could end up like many patents we've seen before and never actually make the cut.
Source: Patently Apple