(Pocket-lint) - Apple might be working on new accessories for the Apple Watch. They're described as "smart bands" and could launch by next year.
A Czech website has claimed the Cupertino-based company plans to announce new bands that plug into the hidden data port on the Apple Watch. If you slide away Apple Watch's bottom band, you'll notice a 6-pin port within a connection slot (it's covered by a metal hatch).
Apple hasn't acknowledged this "diagnostic" port on its website or at any press event. It doesn't even include a tool for getting access to it, suggesting the port is likely just for Apple's own internal use at the moment. But it could be used to add new functionality to the Apple Watch. Apple's upcoming smart bands, for instance, will add blood oxygen, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and body temperature sensors.
The bands will actually house these sensors in order to provide accurate readings. Unnamed sources told Letem Svetem Applem that Apple will launch its first sensor-equipped bands in early 2016. It is supposedly working on different ones that'll be available in a multiple styles and configurations, but it's assumed you'll need to visit an Apple Store in order to have them installed/connected to the watch's port.
Apple is reportedly hoping these smart bands will help fuel hardware sales in the watch segment. Consumers are unlikely to upgrade their watches annually, so smart band upgrades could allow the company to continue sales.