Apple Watch 3 specs, release date rumors: Magnetic Wristband doubles as stand

The current Apple Watches | Apple

Big changes are reportedly afoot for the next iteration of the Apple Watch.

While the Apple Watch 3 is expected to retain the look and feel of the current Apple Watches, there has also been talk of an innovative new strap, a new circular design, an integrated FaceTime camera and even gesture-based controls.

According to AppleInsider, Apple may be planning to add a new multifunctional strap to the Apple Watch 3. A patent for such a strap was allegedly recently uncovered and it reportedly details the plans for a so-called Magnetic Wristband that also works as a protective case and a stand for the next Apple Watch.

AppleInsider says that the patent reveals that the Magnetic Wristband has a set of magnets that allows both sides of the strap to come together. The magnets hold the Apple Watch in place when worn. When not on the owner's wrist, the band can be wrapped around the Apple Watch, protecting the screen when the device is being transported or stored. The Magnetic Wristband also rolls up behind the Apple Watch, acting as a stand.

Apart from the rumored Magnetic Wristband, Digital Spy reports that another design change could be coming to the Apple Watch 3. The website adds that Apple may be playing around with rounded edges for the next iteration of its wearable device. The new soft edges for the Apple Watch 3 may reportedly resemble that of the Huawei Watch and the LG G Watch R.

As for the Apple Watch's new features, there has been talk of an integrated camera that will allow users to take voice-activated selfies and FaceTime while on the go. In addition, there are rumors that Apple could be considering gesture-based controls so that Apple Watch owners can use the device without even touching it.

MacWorld says that because the Apple Watch Series 2 was unveiled in September, the Apple Watch 3 should be revealed at the same time next year. However, the tech blog expects a Series 2 S to debut in March 2017, possibly with more storage options than the current lineup.