Right now, the Apple Watch serves as a fairly limited iPhone companion, but this autumn's release of Watch OS 2 may be just the tip of the iceberg for enhancing how useful the wearable device can be without your smartphone handy.
Here's a prime example: a new Apple patent uncovered today (via the World Intellectual Property Organization) shows that the company is thinking about ways to make data transfer easy and even automatic between two Watches - or even an Apple Watch and an iPhone. How? Gestures.
Not over-the-top, exaggerated gestures designed solely to complete these tasks, but the kinds you'd use to greet someone anyway: a handshake, bow, high-five, or maybe even a fist bump. According to the patent, the devices' motion sensors and local wireless communications would be able to detect the joint movements and transfer the appropriate data.
If you're meeting someone for the first time, you'd probably share a contact. But if it's a trusted colleague or friend, it looks as though you can set up the transfer to include other files or data. The patent suggests that data can be transferred either automatically or with a prompt, and that it can be sent on the spot or that a code can be provided to access the data from a secure server later.
Apple's Watch gesture transfer patent diagram
It sounds like a fairly natural solution, but one that would surely require some on-the-spot input beyond simply sending basic contact info. But as the Apple Watch becomes more widely adopted, this could become a rather useful way to swap information with minimal hassle.
Also, the patent makes references to an Apple Watch potentially having a camera and an audio jack, which could either point towards future models or just be Apple covering its technical bases. We've heard the camera bit reported before, but we highly, highly doubt an Apple Watch will ever have a headphone jack.
And there are mentions of other wearable devices, such as smart jewelry, rings, eyewear, and clothes, but again, that might just be Apple making sure it can explore this concept in whatever arenas it chooses down the line. Surely a data transfer performed because of a hug between two people wearing Apple smart suits would be the ultimate in wearable tech nonsense.