1 way would be with a conical winch drum, and a sheet alignment guide controlled by load sensor.
I suppose it might work but shifting the wraps down an inverted cylinder is going to rob from the efficiency. The sensor might be done mechanically but I'm not clear how. As this contraption grows the efficiency has to suffer. Arm force increase a little as the penalty. Even a good two speed winch uses precision cut gears and the resistance in the gears when dirty points to the problem of over gearing the device. The changing of the gearing becomes the sticky part. The winch has to hold when you release the handle. A reverse ratchet like the current
winches use does that exceptionally easy. It's going to be hard to beat it. If each reversed motion changed another ratio I suppose the process could go to 5 speeds. Skipping between the speeds would be hard. Fitting the larger gears and adding more gears starts to get in each others way. Working in bronze sets the cross section area of the teeth. Some high tech super stainless might do better with smaller gears.
If you take a good two speed winch apart it's hard to imagine something much better. The simplicity and durability combined with the precision make it quite the work of art. Mine are 20 years old and aside from some slight discoloring look as good as new.
Powered winch handle still wins