A Next-Gen Apple Watch Band Could Magnetically Attach to Macs & Appliances
Apple Advances their 2011 Smart Connector Guidance System Invention

Apple Invents Magnetic Attachment Apparatuses for Possible Future Applications like the iPad, Purses & Beyond

10.4 - Patent Application

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In our first patent report of the day we covered a new magnetic based Apple Watch band. In this report we cover another Apple invention relating to attachment apparatuses, and more particularly, to attachment apparatuses including straps or bands with at least one point of attachment. While this invention covers attachment apparatuses related to today's Apple Watch, it also covers possible future applications related to straps for purses, a locking mechanism for an iPad cover and beyond.


Apple's invention describes attachment apparatuses that provide easy and fast attachment to or detachment from a device. According to the described embodiments, an attachment apparatus can include a length of material and at least one attachment point at which an attachment element(s) is located. The attachment point can be arranged at a position of the length of material and the associated attachment element can be configured to attach to a separate device or apparatus or in some cases, attach to another attachment element at another attachment point on the length of material.


The separate device can take many forms. The separate device can include personal devices, such as a cellular telephone, luggage, personal electronic device, or any other suitable separate device. The attachment element can use any of a number of attachment protocols to secure the attachment point to the separate device. The attachment protocols can include methods and mechanisms such as, for example, a magnetic attraction between a magnetic or ferrous element disposed at the attachment point and a corresponding magnetic element on the separate device. The attachment protocols can include a magnetic element in combination with a mechanical element such as a fastener, and so on. The magnetic element can take the form of a permanent magnet, a magnetized metallic object (formed of ferrous material), magnetically attractable metal and so forth.


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Today, Apple Watch uses magnetics for certain watch bands such as the Milanese Loop, the Leather Loop and Modern Buckle. Apple's notes in patent FIG. 46 that magnetic pattern #460 in which substrate #462 is formed of a number of bands #464 interleaved with selected strands #466. In this way, a magnetic pattern that is orthogonal to the magnetic pattern can be formed. Apple's patent FIG. 48 shows magnetic strap #480 includes substrate #482 formed of a number of interlinking circular elements #484 some of which are magnetic (and some of which can be induced to be magnetic).


Apple's patent covers all of the different clasps and locking mechanisms used in today's Apple Watch bands. Yet the invention extends beyond watch bands as illustrated below. Apple's patent FIG. 11B is a plan view of a strap system adapted for a tablet computer; FIG. 11D is a perspective view of a strap adapted to secure a purse strap; FIG. 11E is a perspective view of a strap adapted for use in shoe laces.


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There's a lot to explore in Apple's patent application 20160010673 and you can explore it all here. Apple filed their patent application back in August 2015 with references dating back to 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such products beyond the Apple Watch is unknown at this time.


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