Apple patent filing involves ‘robotic weaving equipment’ for ‘smart clothing’

Apple clothing, anyone? Apple has filed for a patent (number 20210071325) for “robotic weaving equipment” that involves process for making “smart clothing.”

In this case, considering the tech giant’s focus on health, it’s likely that smart clothing involves clothing that monitors the wearer’s physical condition. Smart shirts and body suits can provide biometric data, such as pulse rate, temperature, muscle stretch, heart rhythm and physical movement, and the data are transmitted via Bluetooth to an app in real time.

In the patent data, Apple says that it may be desirable to form electrical devices, enclosures, and other items from fabric. The fabric may contain strands of insulating material and strands of conductive material. In some situations, it may be desirable to form signal paths and other circuitry using the conductive strands and it may be desirable to couple electrical components to the signal paths. 

Apple says that, however, it can be challenging, to create desired signal paths in woven fabric and to incorporate electrical components into the woven fabric. If care isn’t taken, strands of material will not be routed along desired paths and components will not be interconnected as desired. 

Here’s the summary of the patent data: “Weaving equipment may include warp strand positioning equipment that positions warp strands and weft strand positioning equipment that inserts weft strands among the warp strands to form fabric. The fabric may include insulating strands and conductive strands. The conductive strands may be coupled to electrical components. The warp strand positioning equipment may position the warp strands to form a shed. 

“Component insertion equipment may be used to insert electrical components into the shed. The weaving equipment may have a reed. The reed may be used to help position an electrical component in the fabric. The weaving equipment may have take-down equipment and individually controllable warp fiber positioning and tensioning devices.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.