Apple's new Bluetooth patent is the technology smartwatches dream about

iWatch or not, there's no denying the usefulness of Apple's latest battery-saving plans

Regardless of whether or not you believe in the mythical iWatch, you'll still appreciate what Apple's latest low energy Bluetooth patent brings to the smartwatch table.

Apple's 'Network access using short-range connectability' application might not sound like a best-selling thriller, but it outlines a method in which one device can share the network connection of another via Bluetooth, without destroying its battery life.

According to the patent, a device without a network radio (like a smartwatch) will be able to pair to another device with one (a smartphone), via Bluetooth LE, the newest, most energy efficient iteration of the standard yet.

The time that a smartwatch and phone are paired together is just enough for push notifications messages and other updates to be sent, before the connection is cancelled, allowing both smartphone and smartwatch to enter a low-power sleep mode which goes a long way to saving precious battery juice.

The pairing and refreshing of connections is all automated too, so users don't have to faff around constantly connecting and checking up on their inboxes/tweets/status updates manaually.

Smartwatches are of course a prime candidate for low-energy tech, as most of them (including the Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear) require a constant connection to your smartphone to be of any use. 

Naturally this effects the battery life, and we found ourselves having to charge the Galaxy Gear at least once every two days – not ideal for something you want to just leave on your wrist and forget about.

Whether or not this technology will make it into the shadowy iWatch remans to be seen, but if it means we'll get more than a week's worth of heavy use from it (or indeed, other smartwaches which adopt the tech), then we'll be more than happy.

[USPTO via Apple Insider]