TECHNOLOGY

Will the Apple Watch Offer FaceTime Calls One Day?

You’re able to take audio calls with the Apple Watch, but there could be a more advanced form of communication available in the future. It just might be possible to take video calls as well. Based on a new patent, it looks like Apple’s trying to integrate two cameras onto a smartwatch. The purpose would be to enable FaceTime and also facial recognition.

The design isn’t so hard to understand. In fact, it almost resembles Samsung’s original Gear smartwatches.

Apple would insert the cameras on the watch band, putting one lens above and below the display. It looks unclear as to how the dual-camera setup could pick up on what’s in front of the smartwatch, but the patent mentions wide-angle lenses. So there’s a way to see the user at various angles.

The two lenses are also able to combine separate images. With that, the Apple Watch can carry out real-time tracking and facial recognition. It should also help with enhanced clarity for FaceTime calls. More than anything, Apple would like to improve communication on its smartwatch.

Here’s one illustration of the patent at work:

The Apple Watch isn’t likely to get any of these features in 2019. Still, it’s a sign that Apple wants to further the product’s versatility. Over the years, we’ve seen the Apple Watch transition from a rather plain smartwatch to an all-in-one tool. It’s by far the most robust smartwatch on the market today.

Since there aren’t any immediate plans to do this, expect more of the same from the next Apple Watch. It should rely on a microphone and speaker for audio calls. But, if you have some patience, maybe in two or three years we’ll see cameras that unlock FaceTime on a wrist.

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