CUPERTINO, CA – The US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that discusses the manufacture of smart fabrics with specialized equipment that could be used to form fabric with integrated electrical components, according to reports.

Apple’s patent application notes it may be beneficial to incorporate electrical components into fabric, but since fabric is flexible, new techniques are required. The company’s invention covers interlacing equipment: for example, weaving equipment, knitting equipment, and braiding equipment.

Woven fabric may include insulating and conductive material, and conductive strands may form signal paths through fabric, coupled to electrical components such as light-emitting diodes and other light-emitting devices, ICs, sensors, and haptic output devices.

End products for next-generation fabric intertwined with electronics could relate to smartphones, computers, or other portable electronic devices, Apple says in the application.

Apple's patent application was filed in March, but some of the original work dates to 2019.

PCB West Virtual 2020 has more than 125 hours’ worth of technical sessions on printed circuit design and manufacturing available through Oct. 12. 


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