Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,177,693) for “wearable loops with embedded circuitry.” And it’s not for a revamped Apple Watch, AirPods, or other current wearable devices the company makes.
About the patent
The device seems to be some sort of tracking device (though not an Air Tag) with medical features, as well as an accessory for the rumored “Apple Glasses,” an augmented reality/virtual reality display. In the patent filing, Apple talks about an electronic device with a loop, band, or string-like shape that can be looped around, tied to, hung on, or otherwise attached to a person, animal, or object.
Such devices, per Apple, can be used to gather information about the person or object that the electronic device is attached to. Such data may include location information, activity information, identification information, medical or biometric information, etc.. The wearer of the device could use touch input, force input, motion input, and/or voice input) to provide information.
The “iLoop” (my description, not Apple’s) could also bee used to store messages for a user, may be used as an anchor or visual marker in an augmented reality or virtual reality system, and/or may be used for other functions.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “An electronic device such as a loop-shaped wearable electronic device may have a fabric cord with first and second opposing ends and a housing unit coupled between the first and second ends. The housing unit may contain circuitry such as a visual output region, sensors, communications circuitry, and wireless power receiving circuitry.
“The wearable electronic device may include haptic output devices for providing haptic output for a user or for changing the shape of the fabric cord. The fabric cord may include a conductive strand that forms a coil for receiving wireless power signals from a wireless power transmitter. The wearable electronic device may be stored in a charging case that includes wireless power transmitting circuitry for powering the wearable electronic device. Control circuitry in the charging case may change an opacity of the charging case based on a charging status of the wearable electronic device.”