Apple Watch to Adopt Solid State Buttons With Haptic Feedback



Apple Watch could soon feature solid state buttons that don’t move up and down. Instead, it will sense the touch of a finger. Despite this change, the button configuration found on the wearable device will remain the same, according to Fast Company.

From the report: 
“Apple will stick with the Watch’s current button configuration, with a button and a digital crown situated on one side of the device, but neither will physically click as before. Rather than reacting to the user’s touch by physically moving back and forth, the new buttons will vibrate slightly under the fingertip, using the haptic effect Apple calls the Taptic Engine. (The digital crown will still physically rotate to navigate through content.)”
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s a path that Apple has traveled before. It would be similar technology to what Apple introduced with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Home buttons. Those did not actually press in, as the button had done in previous iterations of the iPhone, but would rather offer haptic feedback when “pressed”.

As to the reason why Apple will go this route, it’s likely due to improved water resistance and saving space within the Apple Watch enclosure. And as far as when this might happen, Apple could launch the redesigned Apple Watch as early as later this year, with the oft-rumored Series 4. However, the report also states that if Apple can’t finalize the changes for this year, they’ll make the cut next year.

Last week, Apple introduced watchOS 5, which will arrive this fall. The update includes some new software features including exercise competitions, a Podcast app, a Walkie-Talkie app, and more. WatchOS 5 will support all current Apple Watch models except the first-generation version. 

 


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