An Apple Band, anyone? Apple has been granted a patent (number 11484264) for “fabric-based items with stretchable bands.” One of those is a wristband with built-in circuitry.
Background of the patent
In the patent, Apple says it may be desirable to form items using materials such as fabric. For example, wearable items may be formed from fabric. Some wearable items may include sensing circuitry. Control circuitry in the item may use the sensing circuitry to gather information on a user’s health and other data. Output devices in a wearable item may provide output to a user.
However, Apple says that, if care isn’t taken, fabric-based items such as these may not offer desired features. For example, a fabric-based item with sensing circuitry may not be able to gather measurements accurately, may not be able to interact with external equipment effectively, or may be difficult for a user to keep clean.
The circuitry in the device may include sensor circuitry for making measurement on the body part such as electrocardiogram measurements, blood pressure measurements, respiration rate measurements, and other measurements. When being worn on the body part of the user, the stretchable band may hold the sensor circuitry against the body part to facilitate gathering accurate measurements.
Of course, the patent could involve more than some sort of wristband. It could involve a future band for an Apple Watch. Apple has filed for and/or been granted several patents for fabric-based devices.
Imagine an Apple-branded jacket that could power your iPhone. Or an Apple logo-ed running shirt that would match with your Nike + Apple kit and fight sweat stains. You’ve got Fruit of the Loom undies; why not Apple undies? Why not iWear?
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “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 measurements on the body part such as electrocardiogram measurements, blood pressure measurements, and respiration rate measurements.
“Wireless communications circuitry in the fabric-based item may be used to communicate wirelessly with external electronic equipment. A wireless power transmitting device may transmit wireless power. A coil formed from conductive strands in the fabric-based item may be used by wireless power receiving circuitry in the fabric-based item to receive the wireless power. The coil may have one or more turns that run around the ring-shaped strip of stretchable fabric.”