A new patent, first spotted by Patently Apple, suggests Apple continues to investigate the potential of smart fabrics.
The patent describes a fabric (seen below) made of what appears to be a contrasting ridge-like material. Unfortunately, there’s no description as to the purpose of the material, though it’s likely related to Apple’s ongoing investigations into smart fabric.This is not the first smart fabric-related patent the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted to Apple.
Earlier in the year, the agency granted the tech giant a patent for a garment that would aid individuals with visual impairments navigate without the help of a walking cane or guide dog. Similarly, late last month Apple secured a patent for sensors that could be integrated into a garment like a glove and subsequently monitor health vitals like blood pressure.
As is the case with all patents, just because Apple was granted this latest one, it doesn’t mean the company intends to commercialize it.
That said, Apple is far from the first company to show interest in the technology. Google, for instance, has been looking into the potential of smart fabrics since at least 2015 when the company’s Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) showed off Project Jacquard.
The technology from Project Jacquard made its way into a product from Levi’s in 2017.