3rd party accessory makers have been offering to sell additions to your apple watch before the thing had even been released, with many clamouring to sell you a £50 thing to attach to your new smartwatch allowing it to do one thing or another (normally charge). Well Apple doesn’t want people blindly poking around with their smartwatches, it is Apple after all. So they have released details about how third parties can make bands for the Apple Watch. It’s exactly what you would expect from Apple as well, they have essentially said you can make a strap nothing else, no charging capability, connectors and no hidden ports. Just a strap that’s all.
Apple lays out the details for making an approved third-party strap for the Watch on a new website. Attachment to the body will be via lugs, which must be provided to band manufacturers by Apple. No making your own people, Designers must also “not integrate magnetic chargers” into the bands, destroying the hopes of more than one Kickstarter campaign. Although they will likely just do it anyway.
In Apples designs on this site there is no mention of the 6-pin ‘diagnostic’ port hidden in the side of the Watch’s housing. A port that would provide an ideal way to integrate other sensors, batteries or attachments into a strap. By doing this Apple is hoping to kill any plans for useful straps, likely so they can release some later this year. So you can expect to see a market flooded with 3rd party straps all made of slightly different shades of the same materials, yay.
Apple has promised to make lugs available to designers soon.