Patent Suggests Apple Might Still Be Working On A Digital Crown For The iPhone


The Apple Watch is a very capable device, providing users with a much more personalized way of how they interact with their device. Even though Apple's wearable is a complementary product to go with the iPhone, it does boast a unique interactive tool to control the device - the Digital Crown. Well, according to a new patent, Apple wants to move ahead with the Digital Crown. The company is working to bring the technology to the iPhone and iPad.

Apple Could Potentially Implement An Apple Watch-Like Digital Crown On An iPhone Or iPad

The Digital Crown is an outward level rotary that controls scrolling and much more. In addition to this, it also acts as a button with specified functionality. It's true that Apple files a lot of patents and it's definitely not necessary that the company will fill all of its patented technology in its upcoming device. So do take the news with a pinch of salt.


The patent is labelled with the number 20160378187 and 20160378189 and explains the device as “an exemplary rotary input that can rotate in a rotational direction as well as be displaced in a direction orthogonal to the rotational direction”. As can be seen in the illustrations, the device on which an Apple Watch-like Digital Crown is explained looks more like an iPhone or iPad. The patent is explained in the form of an extension to the previous patent which was filed back in July of this year.

This time around, the company details how a mechanical interface will be advantageous on devices apart from the Apple Watch. This will allow for a physical haptic feedback for interactions and can open all new dimensions in terms of functionality.

Some electronic devices may include mechanical inputs, such as buttons and/or switches. These mechanical inputs can control power (i.e., on/off) and volume for the electronic devices, among other functions. However, sometimes these mechanical inputs can fail to give a user tactile feedback, such as the “click-click-click” feeling of winding a mechanical alarm clock with a knob.


While the main idea behind the move is pretty clear, it is highly unlikely that we'll see an end product any time soon. Nonetheless, the perception of a Digital Crown on an iPhone or iPad is directly related to how you see the mechanical tool on the Apple Watch. If you're interested in learning more, it is detailed quite well in the application.

As for now, what are your thoughts on an Apple Watch-like Digital Crown on an iPhone or iPad? Do you think the idea will ever see daylight? Share your thoughts in the comments.