Apple Watch Digital Crown could be set for some Force Touch love

Patent points to the haptic tech finding a new home
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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

Apple Watch Digital Crown could be set for some Force Touch love

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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