One of Huawei’s latest patents published on April 5 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) describes a method for swapping out watch bands in a straightforward manner that’s arguably easier than what contemporary (smart)watches allow for. It accomplishes that by building on the currently popular quick release spring mechanism found in most modern smartwatches. In fact, according to the patent, the design was directly inspired by how popular smartwatches have become and buyers’ desire to personalize those with custom bands. In effect, what Huawei’s patent seems to suggest is that the quick release spring can be moved into the watch housing instead of being part of the watch band. Removal of a watchband would then be enabled via a press of small buttons on either side of that housing, resulting in the spring holding the band to the housing being compressed.
It goes without saying that Huawei may never actually implement this design and other manufacturers may not ever license it either. However, if implemented, it would essentially allow any watchband to allow for a quick release. In turn, any such watch band would likely be as easy to attach as it would be to be released. As things currently stand, only watch bands with a quick release mechanism built-in can be used in that manner. That severely limits the number of bands consumers can choose from and quickly becomes a problem when they’re looking for a way to really personalize their new smart wearable. It only gets worse when a smartwatch needs to be customized for specific events such as a fancy steel band being added for formal gatherings. Huawei’s solution entails moving the placement of the quick release and including a spring bar to make nearly all problems associated with swappable bands obsolete.
It bears repeating that whether or not the company ever releases a wearable utilizing the newly patented solution is still very much up in the air. Having said that, this is one of those ideas that seems to be intuitive and obvious in hindsight, so it would be interesting to see where Huawei goes with it if it does see use in the real world.