The Apple Watch is now on sale, and while there aren’t yet many accessories, many companies plan to make battery straps so that you can charge the device on the go while also wearing it. The companies plan to make use of the hidden port (between the watch body and the strap) to charge the device.
Apple Watch hidden port
Apple uses a magnetic inductive charging system to charge the Apple Watch, but a wired connection to the hidden 6-pin port will make designing battery straps simpler, according to the maker of the Reserve Strap accessory (and maybe even allow faster and more efficient charging than the standard solution).
The firm initially intended to use a magnetic wireless solution much like Apple’s, but after getting their hands on the Apple Watch confirmed that the hidden port is a better option.
“Our engineers have been able to independently confirm that the 6 pin diagnostic port underneath the Apple Watch case can be used for charging. The Reserve Strap will take advantage of this using a simple, retractable connector instead of the previous inductive charging cradle design… By utilizing this port instead of wirelessly charging, we’ve been able to achieve a higher charge capacity and quicker, more efficient charging times while also improving durability and eliminating any interference with Apple Watch functionality including taptic feedback and heartrate sensors”.
The port is hidden inside the slot where one part of the strap connects to the device, and is covered. However, the Reserve Strap will be able to connect to it simply by sliding in instead of an Apple strap. Some thought that the port would be used for diagnostics by retail employees, but it doesn’t – as diagnostics are done via a connected iPhone, but Apple may have included the port for getting software onto the watch at the factory, or for developer use.
In theory, the Reserve Strap discovery means that other accessory makers could create charging solutions and offer other kinds of smart accessories for faster charging, and other features that may not be possible without it. It certainly helped the design of the Reserve Strap however.