Video proves Apple Watch can be charged through 6-pin diagnostics port

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 2015
Following claims that Apple Watch can be charged through a 6-pin port hidden in its top strap slot, a video published Wednesday not only proves the concept, but shows a physical connection charges faster than Apple's inductive method.




Earlier in May, accessory maker Reserve Strap said its battery-toting charging strap was capable of powering Apple Watch via an undocumented 6-pin port thought to be included for diagnostics purposes.

At the time, Reserve Strap offered no proof to back up its claims, but today released a video comparing Apple's inductive charging method to a physical connection. As seen below, the proof of concept is rather unpolished and involves lifting Watch's display off its chassis to get to the electrical leads beneath. A finalized product would assumedly require removal of the small metal piece protecting the 6-pin connector on shipping Watch units.





A teardown of Apple's own in-store display pedestal revealed the company taps into the 6-pin port with a specialized Lightning connector cable for charging and data transfer functionality. The company has not made such functionality available to third-party manufacturers, however, and the port itself is not user serviceable.

With lack of documentation and no official word on Made for Apple Watch compatibility, the implications of accessing the 6-pin connector are unknown. Removing the protective panel may diminish device waterproofness, for example, or Watch's power management circuitry and/or battery might not be designed to handle continuous rapid charging.

With or without Apple's blessing, Reserve Strap is moving forward with plans to field the first Apple Watch strap with built-in battery and recharging features.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    uhhhh, yeahhhhh
  • Reply 2 of 21
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,173member
    OMG IT CHARGES A FULL 5% FASTER! WHERE DO I SIGN UP??

    Seriously, that was embarrassing- they shouldn't even have bothered with that demo considering the negligible nature of the speed increase, with all the hassle involved.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    vfx2k4vfx2k4 Posts: 43member
    Silly- the inductive works like a charm.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    hcrefugeehcrefugee Posts: 61member

    Ok, so I need to plug in the Reserve Strap to wired charger to charge its Li batteries so I can charge Watch's battery. Snoooooooze-fest.

     

    Reserve strap would be a cooler (i.e., more sensible) product if its batteries were charged by Apple's inductive charger at the same time Watch's battery was charged.

  • Reply 5 of 21
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member

    I guess somebody would be stupid enough to buy this product, void the warranty on their $1000 ?Watch and then bitch at Apple if it became a 48mm brick. Takes all kinds I suppose. They do it all the time on the Apple discussion forums.

  • Reply 6 of 21
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,762member
    Yeah, I thought they were trying to sell something. Turns out that's exactly the case.

    Say... these geniuses should hack the Samsung Galaxy S6, to see if it can be charged faster by applying voltage across some of the pins in the micro-USB socket, instead of slow inductive charging.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    gunner1954gunner1954 Posts: 141member
    Surprised they mentioned the pins being under the top strap (12 o'clock position when worn on left wrist, having Digital Crown to the right) as the door hiding the pins on my 42mm Space Gray Sport is under the lower band (6 o'clock position when worn on left wrist) which is also where the model number resides; Model A1554. In the provided photo the Watch on the right must be set for a lefty. Then again, as the straps are reversible, this watch actually doesn't have a 'top' or 'bottom' strap.
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    I guess somebody would be stupid enough to buy this product, void the warranty on their $1000 ?Watch and then bitch at Apple if it became a 48mm brick. Takes all kinds I suppose. They do it all the time on the Apple discussion forums.


    Is there a Watch Plus we don't know about? :D 

  • Reply 9 of 21
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,762member

    The IC that prevents overcharging is in the charger, not the watch.

  • Reply 10 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    vfx2k4 wrote: »
    Silly- the inductive works like a charm.

    Can you imagine if you had to plug an ?Watch in to charge with such a cable and someone later discovered it supported inductive charging? ????
  • Reply 11 of 21
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member

    Who denies this? That's how the hands-on displays are set up in Apple Stores.

  • Reply 12 of 21
    krawallkrawall Posts: 157member

    What's with all the hate here. Let them continue their quest and see what they come up with. Lets see if it's perhaps even possible to keep the strap permanently attached and charging both, the watch, and the strap, using the inductive charger (through the pins).

     

    You don't have to buy it, if it eventually is released. 

     

    I'm defending this not because I want to buy one, but it's never bad to improve on existing products. And yes, the inductive charger works like a charm, but remember that it's not about charging or charging faster, it's about having spare battery in your strap which can boost the battery life to a couple of days instead of 18 hours.

  • Reply 13 of 21
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,486member
    The difference in charging speed is trivial. Nothing to see here ... move along... move along.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    What's wrong with you guys?

    You can now extend the battery life by charging the watch with a strap, so I guess with the original Apple strap plus this strap the watch can be on your wrist indefinitely meaning you can now monitor your sleep at night for example.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    anomeanome Posts: 1,294member
    And Apple releases an update to break this in 3...2...

    Or maybe not, but I wouldn't want to rely on something they haven't explicitly approved.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    curtis hannahcurtis hannah Posts: 1,763member
    Something tells me Apple plans at a point for that 6 pin connection to be an accessory opener, just not yet. Currently fit security reasons. But bands with extra sensors and battery are possible. What they are showing is a joke, by nature inductive charging is slow, but really 5% difference is variable and not enough to complain about.
  • Reply 17 of 21

    this could work IF the port lets power flow the opposite way. i.e. you charge the watch as normal inductively but the strap also charges from here. so when you are wearing it during the day it acts as an extended battery, running down the strap battery before running down the watch battery.

    if you have to remove the strap to charge it separately then it's pointless to me.

  • Reply 18 of 21
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Something tells me Apple plans at a point for that 6 pin connection to be an accessory opener, ...
    That something is called your imagination.
  • Reply 19 of 21
    pte applepte apple Posts: 82member

    These guys aren't done yet - will be interesting to see where they go with this or what they do next.

    Strange concepts can lead to many things - look at history.

    Apple or Microsoft - bet many were saying 'WTF' when they first started.

  • Reply 20 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flyingviking View Post



    What's wrong with you guys?



    You can now extend the battery life by charging the watch with a strap, so I guess with the original Apple strap plus this strap the watch can be on your wrist indefinitely meaning you can now monitor your sleep at night for example.

    I agree with you, but in their defense I will answer your question “What’s wrong with you guys?”. First of all you sound knowledgable enough to know that it’s very uncool to say something good about a product in a comment - obviously you need to find a way to bash it - necessarily quickly and preferably cleverly...but even just an “uhhh, yeahhhhh” if you can’t think of anything real. 

     


    But in this case they have something I actually agree on - this video focuses on some ridiculous bath water but there is a baby here if you look for it (like you did and I looked through the comments to make sure someone did).
     


    In this video they really do seem to be focusing on “how much faster” conductive charging “is” (not sure if their results equal what it can be or even “should" be depending on maximum, yet still healthy charging speed for this particular battery) and (like many have pointed out) I wouldn’t consider 5% even close to be called “much faster” in this context (if we’re talking 100 meter sprint times feel free to call it that).



     


    But yea, like you wrote - the thing to go “hmm nice” about is the idea of being able to charge the watch while wearing it. I would add to that - not just for sleep monitoring (although obviously there is huge interest in that, myself included) but I’m sitting at my desk typing this right now and like a lot of people I do that all day for a living (or an attempted living anyway (independent software development(hence my overuse of parenthesis(lol!!!)))). My watch could be sitting at 100% right now and not even using the battery which means it will last longer (years-wise). 


     


    And there’s all kinds of possibilities here as I’m sure Apple is working on along with others. There will be bands with batteries and more sensors in them (blood pressure, glucose, weight-lifting reps,etc). Come on yall, don't you see that?


     


     *points at baby, *points at bath water - let’s get better at identification and separation. Plus let’s shame people out of this social trend of bashing things by default…because it is very much is a shame, especially in the forefront of our technology growth where it actually is worst for some reason (poetic justice?). This happens to be a bad example because these guys missed their own point. In fact, I wonder if they set out just to show that the charging could be done and saw that it was faster and lost their way kinda in the point of the video.
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