Google wins design patents for Amazon Halo-style fitness band and future Pixel phone with no visible front camera hole


In August, Patently Apple released a report titled “Amazon Enters Smart Health and Fitness Market to Tackle Apple Watch with Halo Device and Annual Subscription.” Beyond promotional pricing, by 2021 the retail price of Halo will be $99 + $4/month subscription.

With Google getting the green light for its acquisition of Fitbit in Europe, Google will offer a range of fitness bands that are regularly priced between US$99 and US$219. This could motivate Apple to enter this market at some point. Apple was granted a patent in June for a fitness tracker-like device.

3 Apple Fitness Band patent granted in June 2020

Earlier this month, Google was granted design patent D904 920 titled “Bracelet for Fitness Tracking.” It was originally filed over a year before Amazon’s Halo was released. So they are not copying Amazon’s Halo as they are registered as having a similar style fitness tracker filed with the US Patent Office. Some of the key design patent figures from Google’s design patent are shown below.

4 Google Design Patent Figures for a Fitness Band Close to Amazon's Halo

It’s unclear whether Google will accelerate its patented fitness band or abandon it due to its acquisition by Fitbit. However, Google has the financial wherewithal to set up a “fitness program” to go along with its device which could match Amazon’s Halo or Apple’s Fitness+. It’s the trend that almost requires Google to adopt its patented fitness bracelet.

Google Design Patent: Future Pixel Phone

Earlier this month, Google was granted a series of four design patents covering a possible future Pixel smartphone that won’t have a front-facing camera hole. Beneath the screen, a microphone slot is featured, but there are no camera holes of any kind, as evidenced by the patent figures below. None of the four design patents illustrate a front-side camera hole.

5 Google design patent for a possible future Pixel phone without a camera hole in the face

The images shown above are from Google’s D903,618 design patent. The other three design patents, although very slightly different, cover a common design. The other design patents were under numbers D903,619, D903,620 and D903,622.

Last month, Patently Apple reported that Samsung and Xiaomi in China plan to launch next-generation smartphones with under-display side cameras in 2021. Google’s design patents are therefore in line with this trend.

6 iPhone without notch

Back in January, we published a report titled “Apple Vendor Now Delivers Sensor Breakthrough That Will Eliminate The Nasty Notch From The iPhone Completely.”

This is the goal of most smartphone manufacturers who know that consumers generally don’t like notches or even camera holes. Apple should follow this trend. The only question is the marketing timing.

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