Smart textile buttons for hats or bracelets
That goes out of one Patent application which has now been published by the US Patent & Trademark Office. The protective script is entitled “Electronic Devices With Fabric Buttons”. In it, Apple describes a wide range of possible uses for textile buttons. According to the iPhone group, the items of clothing in which the new elements can be used include shirts, hats, gloves and jackets. In addition, the company can envision the integration of such surfaces and the associated electronics in wristbands for watches, smartphones, keyboards and even computers and iPhone cases.
Woven elements and lots of sensors
In terms of technology, Apple keeps all options open. Either capacitive or resistive elements, or a combination of both, could be used. Mechanical components such as resilient parts are also conceivable. What all the options described have in common is that they should not simply be sewn or glued into the fabric, but rather woven in and are integral components of the textile. In addition, there are various sensors such as optical touch surfaces, fingerprint scanners and accelerometers. According to Apple, it is even conceivable to integrate gesture and moisture sensors, compasses or time-of-flight cameras.
etControl of smartphones or fitness tracking
The smart textile elements described in the patent application can naturally be used to control smartphones, tablets or computers, for example. According to Apple, numerous other applications are also conceivable. Thanks to the sensors, information about the user can be collected, for example health and fitness values, which are then available to the corresponding apps. Smart elements integrated into swimming trunks or suits could record swimming training, and they could also be used in other sports such as skiing, yoga or weightlifting. It is not known whether Apple is already developing devices or articles of clothing with the elements described in the patent application.