The iBed? Apple has filed for a patent for a “pneumatic haptic device having actuation cells for producing a haptic output over a bed mattress.” This is the second such patent filing by the tech giant regarding a mattress. The other is patent number 20210085901.
About the patent filing
Apple probably isn’t planning to make and sell a bed. However, the tech giant wants an iPhone or Apple Watch to be able to interact with your bed. In the patent filing, Apple notes that electronic devices may have one or more input mechanism for sensing parameters of a user positioned on a bed or other support surface and output mechanisms that provide tactile outputs to a user of the device.
The tech giant adds that, in general, it may be beneficial for electronic devices to identify a position or posture of a user and/or provide tactile outputs to users while they’re in bed. Some traditional electronic devices may provide tactile feedback to users in bed, but the types of tactile feedback that can be provided are limited and devices can cause discomfort to users.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “Embodiments are directed to a pressure mapping system that includes a sensing pad configured for placement between a user and a bed. The sensing pad can include an array of actuation cells where each actuation cell in the array of actuation cells is configured to actuate in response to a fluid being introduced into the actuation cell.
“The sensing pad can also include an array of pressure sensors where each pressure sensor in the array of pressure sensors is configured to output pressure measurements. The pressure mapping system can also include a control system that is configured to receive the pressure measurements from the array of pressure sensors, generate a pressure map for the user based on the set of pressure measurements and a position of the pressure sensing cells on the sensing pad, and actuate a subset of the array of actuation cells based on the pressure map.”