There is a mysterious port on the Apple Watch that could be used to connect accessories such as a smart band or battery, reports TechCrunch. The outlet says that multiple sources have confirmed the wearable features a secret 6-dot brass contact used for diagnostics and direct access to the operating system.
Apparently the port is very similar to the Lightning port found on larger iOS devices, and is located inside the groove of the “bottom” strap connector slot. It’s believed that this portal is “absolutely necessary” to install the Watch OS during manufacturing, and thus it will be present on shipping versions of the wearable.
The existence of such a port is interesting for a few reasons, but perhaps the most ambitious theory is accessories. While TechCrunch is clear that they have no proof Apple will allow accessories to access the port, it has opened up Lightning access to manufacturers for its iPhones and iPads—most recently for headphones.
Connected accessories for Apple Watch would likely come in the form of bands, adding additional functionality to the Watch. Think along the line of a smart band with external sensors, which could measure more than just your heart rate, or additional storage, or my favorite possibility: a band with a built-in external battery.
So at the very least, it sounds like this 6-pin port will be used by Apple to install the Watch OS at its factories, and possibly troubleshoot firmware within its Apple Stores, but it’s not hard to imagine the possibilities if it opens up this port for accessory-makers. Here’s hoping we hear more about it during Monday’s media event.
Update: 9to5Mac has posted a response to the TechCrunch report, claiming that the mysterious 6-pin port is in fact a Lightning port being used for testing, but it won’t be present in shipping units.