New patents suggest that Apple could be investing development in new smart devices like necklaces, bracelets, and key rings.
Apple already offers various wearables like the Apple Watch. It also considers AirPods a wearable, too. In the future, though, the tech giant could offer even more wearable options according to a new patent. AppleInsider was one of the first to notice the patent. That outlet says that the patent makes note of expanding Apple’s wearable line-up to include a ton of new devices, like doorknob hoops and bracelets.
New Apple smart devices could be key rings or necklaces
The patent, titled ‘wearable loops with embedded circuitry’ outlines a lot of different usages for the technology.
“An electronic device such as a loop-shaped wearable electronic device may have a fabric cord with first and second opposing ends and a housing unit coupled between the first and second ends. The housing unit may contain circuitry such as a visual output region, sensors, communications circuitry, and wireless power receiving circuitry,” the patent’s abstract reads.
“The wearable electronic device may include haptic output devices for providing haptic output for a user or for changing the shape of the fabric cord. The fabric cord may include a conductive strand that forms a coil for receiving wireless power signals from a wireless power transmitter. The wearable electronic device may be stored in a charging case that includes wireless power transmitting circuitry for powering the wearable electronic device. Control circuitry in the charging case may change an opacity of the charging case based on a charging status of the wearable electronic device.”
Looking further into the patent, it seems to outline possible uses of Apple tech in wearables. These wearables include a myriad of new objects, including some you might not expect to fall into the ‘wearables’ category. The patent itself is heavily based around a singular idea: The ability to wear a device that offers technological applications.
The patent is credited to Paul G. Puskarich. Puskarich is also credited with a patent pertaining to headphones detecting when they are worn.
How would these devices work?
Apple says that the devices could work in a multitude of ways. They could offer displays like the Apple Watch, or they could simply be something that picks up hand gestures. Furthermore, the devices could simply just collect things like location, activity, and identification information. Apple also says those same devices could then “provide a user with output”. That output could include audio, visual, or even just haptic feedback.
Another application Apple notes in the patent is using certain items as anchors for augmented or virtual reality applications. VR or AR headsets could then track those objects in some way, providing more immersive usages with those experiences. The usage applications for this patent are numerous. It will be interesting to see how Apple pursues it in the future.