In one of 2018’s more unexpected patents, Apple was granted a number of US patents on technologies behind what is being described as a “force-sensing glove”.
Apple is experimenting with the idea of weaving circuitry into fabrics. This circuitry would be able to sense pressure and force, and would then be able to transmit that data back to a laptop, phone, or other wearable device. A glove is highlighted as a specific example of an item that could be integrated with these circuits, but, this technology could be applied to work in almost any item of clothing. Without going into deep specifics, the circuits would be interwoven between the strands of fabric, and may include “stiffeners” that pop the fabric back into place after pressure has been released, preventing erroneous readings. Such force sensing technology could be used as part of a sensor that detects heart rate, blood pressure, respiration. However, potential uses would not end there. With “force sensors” comprising a huge amount of sensors, Apple could use the technology to power other variations on “smart clothing”.