Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent from Apple that relates to smart clothing and accessories like a stretchable health band that could measure health vitals and even provide another way, beyond Apple Watch, for taking an ECG and may in fact work in concert with Apple Watch to take more accurate ECG readings.
You know when Apple engineer Daniel Podhajny is listed as one of the inventors, it's a serious invention. Podhajny is listed on many Nike patents while working on Nike Flyknit breathable material runners.
Apple's invention covers a fabric-based item may be provide with a stretchable band. The stretchable band may be formed from a ring-shaped strip of stretchable fabric having an opening configured to fit around a body part of a user. Circuitry may be coupled to strands of material in the stretchable band. The circuitry may include sensor circuitry for making measurement on the body part such as electrocardiogram measurements, blood pressure measurements, respiration rate measurements, and other measurements.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a schematic diagram of an illustrative fabric-based item; FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an illustrative item such as a band that is formed from elastic fabric.
Today's patent report isn't about a new invention but rather a continuation of an existing patent that Apple is updating and/or adding specific technologies, features and/or methods that they want to legally extend, protect and fold into their granted patent which is legally permitted. Any change and/or addition to their invention is restricted to Apple's patent claims that are legally binding.
In today's continuation patent, Apple has added 20 new patent claims describing aspects of the invention that they want to protect. Below are six of the key new claims:
- An apparatus configured to be worn on a body part of a user, the apparatus comprising: a band of fabric having configured to at least partially surround the body part; and power receiving circuitry in the band of fabric that is configured to receive wireless power, wherein the power receiving circuitry comprises at least one conductive line in the band of fabric that is configured to form an inductive wireless power receiving coil that runs along the band of fabric.
- The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein the band of fabric is a watch band, the apparatus further comprising a metal portion.
- The apparatus defined in claim 5 wherein the electrical component is a blood pressure sensor.
- The apparatus defined in claim 5 wherein the electrical component is an accelerometer configured to measure a respiration rate.
- The apparatus defined in claim 5 further comprising: patch electrodes on the band; and conductive paths in the band, wherein the electrical component comprises an electrocardiogram sensor coupled to the patch electrodes by the conductive paths.
- The fabric item defined in claim 13 wherein the sensor circuitry comprises a sensor selected from the group consisting of: a blood pressure sensor, a respiration rate sensor, a blood oxygen sensor, and an electrocardiogram sensor.
For finer details, review Apple's patent application number 20210045685.
Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.