Apple wins a Patent with emphasis on a Fitness Band with an Alphanumeric-Text UI using Light-Transmissive Fibers
Last Thursday Patently Apple posted a patent application report in-part titled "Apple Considers entering the Fitness Band market." In that patent Apple described "a wearable band without any wristwatch unit (e.g., a band of the type sometimes referred to as a health band, fitness band, or activity band." Today Apple was granted patent for a "Woven Display" with a patent figure clearly not an Apple Watch.
We originally covered this invention back in 2015. Apple's first granted patent was covered in December 2016. What's new in today's second granted patent is found in Apple's patent claims.
It is here where Apple is placing more emphasis on the fitness band side of the invention and not Apple Watch. It emphasizes an Alphanumeric text interface that is driven by light-transmissive fabric fibers with a multi-color light source.
Apple's second granted patent 10,687,592 was filed in Q4 2016 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Apple has been the leader in pure smartwatch shipments for years hands down and in Q1 Apple crushed Samsung. Many of those competing with Apple, like Fitbit and Xiaomi, are wrongfully included in analytical reports for 'wearables' making these low-end band makers look as if they're catching with Apple. Xiaomi sells millions of bands from $14 to $40 on Amazon.
Apple may enter the fitness band category but for sure they won't be aiming for a $50 model. Even in fitness bands we could count on Apple to redefine the fitness band with some class at a decent price where they could make a profit. Still, it would allow Apple to compete in emerging markets like India and Africa where price is a major factor.