Apple is studying how to move the battery components in the Apple Watch to provide tactile feedback to the wearer.
Apple is trying to make the Apple Watch thinner, so it wants to cancel the independent Taptic haptic feedback engine support. In the latest patent, Apple plans to let the battery provide tactile feedback.
The newly published patent title is “Portable Electronic Equipment with Tactile Devices with Mobile Battery Elements”, which is the latest attempt at tactile feedback elements. Prior to this, Apple has studied the use of tactile wristbands and has also studied modifying the charging coil to do the same thing.
The patent application states: “Traditionally, electronic devices include one or more buttons or electromechanical switches to provide input. Some devices include a touch sensor or touch screen to receive input. However, touch sensors usually lack mechanical feedback to provide input. Remind the user that the input has been registered.
The description in this patent application is aimed at a haptic device that moves battery elements to generate tactile pulses or vibrations along the outer surface of the device.”
This means having a battery that is electrically connected to the display screen, as well as a coil assembly that is configured to induce an oscillating movement of the battery element parallel to the display screen to generate tactile output.
In addition to the possibility of eliminating the need for a separate haptic engine to save Apple Watch space, Apple may also use the space for other reasons.
“The smaller the mass of the haptic device, the haptic device may need to move the mass further to produce the same tactile output,” it said. “For example, the first mass is half of the second mass, in order to produce the same amplitude of tactile output, it may need to move twice the distance.”