Apple’s new smartwatch has been hiding a certain feature in plain sight: a secret charging port.
The discovery was highlighted by accessories maker Reserve Strap, which plans to offer a band that charges your Apple Watch while you wear it, instead of making you wait for it to charge via wireless, inductive charging.
Reserve Strap’s original design relied on the inductive charging space on the back of the Apple Watch, but the company posted a message a few days ago updating its intentions, after discovering the hidden port.
“Our engineers have been able to independently confirm that the 6 pin diagnostic port underneath the Apple Watch case can be used for charging,” reads the company statement. “The Reserve Strap will take advantage of this using a simple, retractable connector instead of the previous inductive charging cradle design.”
We immediately took a look at our own, in-house Apple Watch and confirmed the existence of the ovoid port, which has a tiny, circular indention that could be used in conjunction with a tool to open the port.
Yes, the Apple Watch has a hidden port under the band a slot. Here it is. Note that it’s covered. pic.twitter.com/cdpRPFHWE4
— Lance Ulanoff (@LanceUlanoff) May 4, 2015
Although Reserve Strap is, so far, the only company to lay claim to testing the port’s viability as a charging solution, if their tests are accurate, it could spark a great deal of activity among third-party accessory makers looking to invent new ways to interact with the Apple Watch.
However, would-be Reserve Strap buyers should keep in mind that Apple hasn’t offered this port as an charging option. Apple’s decision on that point may have been made for a very good reason that could be related to anything from safety concerns to simple functionality issues.
Either way, while Reserve Strap’s $250 accessory looks like a slick charging solution, it might be a bit early to advise anyone to strap a non-Apple-approved charging device to your wrist.
The potential downside may end up impacting more than just your bank account.
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