Apple Patents Smart Fabric System That Can Sense When You’re Hot and Cool You Down

“It’s a bold idea, but not completely unheard-of. Startups like Montreal-based OMsignal have long been experimenting with biometric wearables like the OMbra biometric sports bra, which is equipped with heart rate and respiratory sensors.”

Apple Patents Smart Fabric System That Can Sense When You're Hot and Cool You Down

A newly published Apple patent points to some of the wilder ideas that the company’s engineers sometimes explore. This one concerns biometric fabrics that can adjust things like temperature and odor based on changes in the user.

As Patently Apple reports, the idea is to embed biometric sensors into the fabric of clothing or car seat covers and the like. The sensors can monitor things like the user’s temperature and heart rate, and can respond accordingly through “thermal haptic devices” or “Peltier effect devices”, with the latter referring to a process in which an electric current can be used to emit or absorb heat.

The fabric system can also utilize “humidity control elements, airflow control elements, odor absorbing elements, odor emitting elements, or other environmental control elements” to make the user more comfortable, according to the report.

It’s a bold idea, but not completely unheard-of. Startups like Montreal-based OMsignal have long been experimenting with biometric wearables like the OMbra biometric sports bra, which is equipped with heart rate and respiratory sensors. But Apple does appear to be taking things a step further with the idea that the clothing itself can by used to change environmental conditions.

Still, at present there’s no indication that Apple is actually going to implement this technology in a new product; and given that the patent was filed in Q3 of 2015, the company has already had several years to do so. This might be another one of those many Apple patents that simply covers technology the company might explore further, if and when the conditions are right.

Source: Patently Apple