Things could soon get a lot more physical for Apple Watch owners. According to a new patent awarded to Apple, the company's debut wearable could someday allow users to send files by simply giving another Watch owner a fist bump, a high five or even a hug.
According to Patently Apple, this new file sharing system would work similarly to AirDrop, which allows people with Mac or iOS devices to quickly share content with one another via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. In the Apple Watch's case, the file transfer would be triggered by a "greeting event," which would require the two users to perform a gesture such as a "handshake, bow, hand slap, hug, or the like" when both of their Apple Watches are in proximity.
The patent mentions location and calendar events as examples of pieces of info that can be shared via greetings. The application also states that the sending device can send encrypted information for added safety, which the receiving device can later decrypt. Greeting events can even automatically trigger social media updates, which theoretically means that when you give your Apple Watch buddy a hug, your entire Facebook feed will know it.
The Apple Watch has only been in the wild for a few months, but there are already a handful of new features rumored to come to Apple's first-ever smartwatch. The next version of the device may get a FaceTime camera for super-squinty video chats, as well as improved Wi-Fi technology that could make the watch less dependent on your iPhone for data.
We awarded the Apple Watch 3.5 out of 5 stars in our original review, praising its slick design and impressive app selection, despite the face that the watch could be a bit more intuitive. Only time will tell if digital fist bumps and hugs will solve the latter problem.