The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 68 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus primarily on Apple’s smart fabric patent covering conductive strands woven into materials. If you’re not familiar with smart clothing or smart fabrics in general, you could always review a video that explains it in context to Google’s Project Jacquard creating smart clothing for Levi Strauss here.
Patent: Conductive Strands for Smart Fabrics
Apple’s newly granted patent #9,974,170 covers their invention relating to smart fabric.
Apple describes the invention this way: “Strands of material may be intertwined using weaving techniques, knitting techniques, non-woven or entanglement techniques, or braiding techniques. Fabric that is formed from the strands of material may be used in forming a fabric-based item.
The fabric based item may include electrical components. The strands may include conductive strands that form signal paths. The signal paths can carry electrical signals associated with operation of the electrical components. Each strand may have an elongated core and a coating. Strands may also include intermediate layers between the cores and coatings.
The cores, intermediate layers, and coatings may be formed from polymer without conductive filler, polymer with conductive filler, and/or metal. A polymer core may be provided with recesses to help retain subsequently deposited layers such as a metal coating layer. The recesses may be grooves that extend along the longitudinal axis of the core.”
Apple’s patent FIG. 1 above is a schematic diagram of an illustrative item that may include strands of material; FIG. 2 is a diagram of a portion of a fabric with conductive strands in accordance with an embodiment.
Patently Apple opened a Smart Fabric & Clothing Archive back in March 2017 as this patent trend began to emerge. This is Apple’s second granted patent for smart fabrics. The first smart fabric patent was granted in November 2017.
A few other granted patents of interest include one titled “Dual overmolded reconstructed camera module” which relates to the iPhone 7 Plus camera and another covers metallic glass alloy materials which is referred to as either glassy metals or liquid metals.
The sole inventor noted in Apple dual camera patent is Julien Vittu, Apple Camera Process Engineer who came to Apple via STMicroelectronics.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Those using abusive language or behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.