Apple entered the wearables game with the Apple Watch, but it looks like the company is hoping to continue its push into the genre in general. It has been awarded a patent related to smart fabrics, which could pave the way for Apple-branded wearables like clothing, purses, bags, and so on.
The patent itself is related to a textile-based touch surface — so don’t expect to see a high-tech Apple jacket any time soon. In the patent, Apple describes multiple sets of conductive threads, which are woven together in different directions. The patent also says the device could then be incorporated into clothing like a jacket or shirt, and used in conjunction with other electronic devices like an Apple Watch or an iPhone. The fabric could even be used in furniture or car seat, as well as with Apple TV and CarPlay.
The smart fabric patent isn’t the only one that the company was recently awarded. Another patent relates to augmented reality 3D models, which could help make for a much smoother augmented reality experience across apps on iOS.
The patent itself is related to a graphical user interface for 3D models on iOS, and the interface is meant to be systemwide — meaning that multiple apps could make use of the interface, including third-party apps. Augmented reality is expected to play an increasingly larger role in Apple’s products, including the iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple is rumored to be working on a pair of smartglasses too.
Some smaller, less significant patents were also awarded to the company. For example, the Cupertino, California-based company was also awarded a patent for a link-style Apple Watch band that has a slightly different design than previous link Apple Watch bands. And,it was awarded a patent related to the MacBook battery, which could help Apple fit larger-capacity batteries in the MacBook and make for a longer battery life on the device.
We’ll have to wait and see whether or not any of these patent end up making it to the light of day — after all, Apple routinely files for patents that it never ends up using.
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