New Apple Patent Shows Company Is Looking to Expand into Smart Clothing

Apple takes a lot of heat in many areas, and one of those is their lack of innovation since the loss of Steve Jobs. The company that landed the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch has mostly only improved on those products and hasn’t really done anything new other than chase other technology companies.

But a new patent filing shows that Apple is looking to change all that by expanding beyond their reach of devices and their software. They have applied for a patent for smart clothing, although there’s no description to show how they intend to use it. They have also applied for patents for a ride-sharing service and a multiplayer gaming system.


The more interesting of the three patents is for Apple’s own brand of smart clothing. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the company a patent on what could be an all-new thought with reference to smart clothing.

Apple was granted a patent for a “smart fabric” that had just the one image below. There was no description and only the image, so it’s unknown what the intended use would be, but it, of course, brings up endless possibilities: forget about Google Glasses – you could check your social media by examining your shirt sleeve or possibly get intuitive ideas on how your clothing fits from the fabric itself. There are just so many possibilities with the idea of smart clothing.


Additional Patents

While ride-sharing is anything but innovative after the success of Uber and Lyft, Apple plans to take the idea in a new direction. The company enjoys nothing more than keeping you tied to their ecosystem, and by developing their own ride-sharing service, it means you could hail an iRide using your iPhone.

Apple has already been working on a redesign of its “Maps” navigation app, and they are also getting as many businesses as possible to accept Apple Pay as a payment service. The diagram on the patent also describes a “Table Res. App.”

This means you could grab your iPhone and have Siri Shortcuts make a restaurant reservation and hail you a ride, all within a connection to the Maps app and by paying for it with Apple Pay. Let’s not forget, too, that Apple has also been working on developing an autonomous car.

There is also a patent that suggests Apple is working on a multiplayer gaming system of sorts. They were granted a patent for a device that resembles an all-screen iPhone or iPad.

The description implies that this device could be used as a game controller for a system similar to a PlayStation or Xbox. Not that that in itself is innovative, but perhaps your exciting device could be used as a controller. It also appears that this gaming system would allow online friends to join you in a game.


These patents don’t offer a complete story and are not “wowingly” innovative, but they do show the company isn’t sitting around counting its trillion-dollar valuation, waiting for another trillion. They’re working on developing new things.

What do you think of these new Apple patents? Are they things to look forward to or are they just more ho-hum ideas for the company. Let us know what you think about the patents in the comments below.

Image Credit: Patent filing via Inverse and Public domain

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.