On April 15, the U.S. patent Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization published a patent application from Apple that relates to magnetic attachment apparatuses that could be used as part of an accessory such as an Apple Watch band, iPad cover and more.
In Apple's background they note that generally, straps or bands may be attached to a variety of items for use in carrying the items (e.g., hand strap or luggage strap), strapping them to another item or a person's body (e.g., arm band), or a plurality of other uses. However, conventional straps may require a mechanical connection to fixedly attach the strap to an item, and may not offer easy personal adjustments to length and other attributes. Furthermore, the mechanical connections may be difficult to use making it difficult to remove or replace the strap.
Apple's patent covers a system for carrying or using a device may include the device and at least one attachment apparatus. The attachment point may include at least one magnetic feature configured to attach and detach the device and the length of material. The material can include but is not limited to cloth, metallic, fibrous material, and so forth.
Apple's patent FIG. 9A is a perspective view of a strap system prior to insertion; FIG. 9B is a perspective view of a strap system after insertion; FIG. 11B is a plan view of a strap system adapted for a tablet computer; FIG. 11C is a perspective view of a strap adapted to secure a bundle of wire; 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 in athletic runners; FIG. 11F is a plan view of a capture type strap for Apple Watch.
Apple has already used this patent in respect to Apple's patent FIG. 44 and 48 which are Apple Watch bands Leather Loop Silver Milanese Loop.
Considering that this is a continuation patent, it should be noted that Apple has added 20 new patent claims to this invention. Apple's recent granted patent listed 23 patent claims of which 20 of them related to "A Method" and 3 of them were related to "The Strap System." In Apple's continuation patent published on April 15, Apple added 20 new patent claims, with all of them dedicated to "The Strap System."
For those interested in diving into the details of Apple's continuation patent application number 20210108660, click here. The patent was also filed in Europe here. Apple was granted this patent back in February 2021. In-part, this is a patent fulfilled.
Only time will tell if Apple decides to bring this feature to a future iPad cover as noted in patent FIG. 11B above. Apple could also license their technology to apparel companies in respect to purses and athletic runners presented in the patent figures above.