Today Apple was granted 50 patents covering a Future Smart Fabric Apple Watch Band with Integrated Sensor & more
Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 50 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. In this particular report we briefly cover a patent relating to a future smart fabric based Apple Watch band with integrated sensor for touch control activity that could control volume, playback and other controls for Apple Music and more. Apple was also granted two HomePod mini patents and as always, we wrap up this week's granted patent report with our traditional listing of the remaining granted patents that were issued to Apple this week.
Smart Fabric Sensing Device
Apple began working on this smart fabric invention back in 2014 and evolved the technologies for it over the years. In today's granted patent Apple notes in their 20 new patent claims that their invention could apply to a future Apple Watch band as the vehicle to first introduce smart fabrics.
Apple's new patent claim #16 states: "A system, comprising: a mobile telephone; a fabric wrist band configured to wirelessly communicate with the mobile telephone, wherein the fabric wrist band comprises: nonconductive threads; first conductive threads woven with the nonconductive threads and configured to form a touch sensor on the fabric wrist band; and second conductive threads that overlap the first conductive threads and that convey drive signals to the touch sensor; and circuitry configured to apply the drive signals to the second conductive threads and to control an operation of the mobile telephone based on touch input to the touch sensor." This supports patent FIG. 1 below.
In new patent claim #11 Apple further stated that "The system, wherein the wearable fabric item comprises a wrist band, the touch sensor comprises a capacitive touch sensor configured to detect multiple touches.
Apple's patent FIG. 6B above depicts a folded or bent version of the textile #600. In the present example, the textile may form part of a wristband or strap having a touch sensitive region connected to other circuitry or components by conductive threads. Translation, a future Apple Watch band will use a smart fabric that could accept multiple touches to, for example, control music controls of a media player on an iPhone in the user's pocked as depicted in FIG. 1 above.
For finer details, review Apple's granted patent 11656697.
Key Design Patents
Two key design patents issued to Apple today relate to their HomePod mini. Apple's real-world product provides a mesh that contains triangular shapes. A design patent is to reflect the true design of a device or object and yet their two patents illustrate the mesh fabric with circular shapes. This is the first time that I've seen a conflict between design patent figures and the actual product. Is Apple contemplating a change of design? Only time will tell.
Today’s Remaining Granted Patents