Apple is known for creating innovative accessories for its devices, including iPhones, MacBooks, and the Apple Watch. The tech giant is expected to launch the Apple Watch 9 along with other exciting products this year, while continuously working on enhancing the current-generation Apple Watch. Recent developments include supporting ChatGPT via the watchGPT app available in the App Store, and filing a patent for a color-changing Watch band.

A new patent awarded to Apple suggests that future Apple Watches might automatically detect the type of band being used and change the watch face to match the accessory. For example, if the wearer has a Spring Green band, the smartwatch's face will change to a pastel hue. However, there could be a significant downside to this upgrade.

The US Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for an Apple Watch-compatible band that incorporates NFC technology, as originally reported by Patently Apple. The patent describes a system in which the Apple Watch and its attached band communicate using NFC chips, enabling the smartwatch to perform specific tasks when connected to a particular band. Similar technology is used in products such as the Nintendo Switch and AirPods Max.

However, Tom's Guide reports that the patent raises concerns about how this Apple Watch upgrade could be used for more nefarious purposes. The technology described in the patent could be utilized to detect whether a wearer is using a genuine Apple band or a third-party one.

Furthermore, the patent implies that if an "authorized band" is paired with an Apple Watch, the wearer will receive a warning through the watch's output component. The technology could also disable or modify one or more features of the watch when paired with a third-party band.

The patent attempts to justify these restrictions as a "safety measure," arguing that "unauthorized" bands or accessories may not have undergone Apple's rigorous quality checks and may not securely attach the smartwatch, increasing the risk of damage. Critics argue that this is merely an excuse to compel Apple Watch users to purchase only Apple-branded or officially licensed bands.

It is essential to note that this potential Apple Watch upgrade remains only a patent. Apple has not confirmed whether its next-generation smartwatches will include this feature, and it may never come to fruition. Tech companies like Apple often file patents for numerous product ideas and software features, with many never materializing into tangible products.