Apple appears to be working on a new type of Apple Watch band, one with indicators so that wearers won’t need to look at the display of the timepiece to check their activity status and updates. 

A new Apple patent published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday presents information on upgraded watch straps for Apple Watch devices. Entitled “indicators for wearable electronic devices,” the document describes how Apple is planning to incorporate indicators into the watch band. 

According to the patent, the band that is in the works has “variably illuminable” portions that are connected or controlled by the main device. This means some parts of the band could light up in varying degrees of brightness. This way, there’s going to be a specific indicator for every activity progress or update, as pointed out by AppleInsider

Apple is thinking of two implementations for the band indicators. The first one is making use of indicators that come in different shapes, such as a circle or a triangle, and have them placed on the sides of the band where they could remain discrete. The other implementation is putting a different type of indicators on the external flat side of the band. 

The indicators will come in handy in many ways. They could be used to monitor step count. For instance, a segmented bar could slowly fill up until such time the wearer reaches his or her goal for the day. They could also be applicable to just about any activity that the Apple Watch is capable of monitoring. 

Of course, users could choose to just look at the display of their Apple Watch to check the status of their activities. But then again having these indicators around saves them time and the need to access the Apple Watch itself. The presence of the indicators could then help save battery life since users won’t have to access the Apple Watch display all the time. 

It is important to note still that Apple patents many of its inventions and technologies, but not all of them see the light of the day. Hence, it’s possible that the patented band could still be scrapped at any point.