A Project Titan Patent from Apple reveals insights into a smart In-Vehicle Lighting System that includes smart fabrics
This week there was a series of Apple Patents relating to their future electric vehicle(s) known as Project Titan. In this first US Patent, Apple focuses on in-vehicle lighting system that includes unique lighting features using smart fabrics. The user could review certain vehicle controls like opening or closing a window by touching the smart fabric in specific regions so that it lights up. When the controls are no longer needed, the lighting behind the fabric shuts off leaving them invisible, leaving the vehicle with an uncluttered appearance.
In-Vehicle Lighting Systems
Apple patent relates to smart fabrics in combination with a lighting system that may be integrated into a fabric seat, door panel, dashboard, or other interior portions of a system such as a vehicle.
Further, the illumination from a lighting system may provide ambient light, may create a custom surface texture or other decorative pattern on a seat or other interior surface, may include icons, text, and other information, and may include custom gauges.
Illuminated regions may overlap sensors such as capacitive touch sensors, force sensors, and other sensors. The light-emitting diodes in a lighting system may supply light that passes through openings in a cover layer. The layer may be formed from fabric, leather, or other materials. Lens structures may guide light through the openings.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below illustrates system #10 that covers the basics in a vehicle including the dashboard, seats, headrests, safety belts and so forth while including a new illumination lighting system. A camera (#26) may monitor movements of the vehicle's occupants. The vehicle's seats (#22) may include pressure sensors (#31) to measure pressure (weight) due to the presence of a driver, passenger, or other occupants (users) in the seats.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 below is a schematic diagram of an illustrative system with lighting; FIG. 5 is a side view of an illustrative light projection system such as an image projector of the type that may be used to provide lighting.
Apple's patent FIG. 23 above is a perspective view of an illustrative magnetic holder for an item such as a cup and an associated lighting system.
When driving at night, most of the time trying to put a cup of coffee back in its proper place is a hit and miss experience. with a next-gen lighting system, as I go to place my coffee down, a landing site for my mug will light up. It sounds like a very cool idea for night driving.
Apple's patent FIG. 11 below is a cross-sectional side view of an illustrative lighting system with a force sensor layer; FIGS. 14, 15, 16, and 17 are diagrams showing illustrative patterns of illumination that may be produced with a lighting system.
Apple's patent FIG. 20 above is a perspective view of an illustrative illuminated wireless charging pad.
Once again, the wireless recharger's landing pad will light up at night to guide you to where you need to put your iPhone down so that you're not fumbling around in the dark trying to find it and distract you while driving. For night driving it could come in handy while being cool.
Additional information could be found in Apple's patent 20230079840 here.
- Clarisse Mazuir: Lighting and sensors lead at Apple SPG
- Arthur Zhang: System Architecture / Technologies