Take a closer look at your Apple Watch — that is, if you’re lucky enough to have one. After detaching the bottom section of the band, you’ll see what looks like a tiny SIM card tray slot. What you’re looking at is the door to a six-pin port. With the port’s discovery going viral, it is being theorized that the port will allow users to charge the watch directly with a cable or accessory, instead of the wireless charging that is being used now.
One such accessory is being produced as a project called Reserve Strap, which claims to have cracked the code of the mysterious socket. The Reserve Strap will charge your Apple Watch while you wear it using a flexible lithium-ion battery and plugging into the six-pin port instead of sliding in like current bands. Brace yourselves, Apple Watch owners, as this is likely just the beginning of many custom bands and accessories for the product.
It’s possible that ultimately the most practical use for this port is to extend the battery life of the watch during power-consuming activities. One of the main selling points of the Apple’s new smartwatch is its use as a fitness accessory and tool. Apple officially states that the watch can provide up to 6.5 hours of continuous fitness tracking or 18 hours of regular use. But even 18 hours is little when for the first time in your life you have to worry about charging your watch.
Third-party charging bands like the Reserve Strap could be the key to having a smartwatch that lasts days, something Apple’s main competitors lack. The ingenuity behind this possible new wave of accessories deserves appreciation. The port was likely used by Apple to load software onto the devices or as a diagnostic tool at the fab. No official word on whether Apple intended the port to be used.