Apple has applied for a patent (number 20170095043) for a “woven display” tether that would keep you from dropping your iPhone or iPad. The tether could also display useful info and be used for an Apple Watch band.
The patent involves a woven fabric includes light transmissive fibers woven into the fabric to provide a visual display. The fabric may be used as a tether to releasably connect a portable electronic device to a user. The light transmissive fibers may transmit light to convey data to the user, as well as be used as part of the housing of an electronic device.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that modern portable electronic devices may be carried by a user or they may be removably attached to the person of a user by means of straps or other tethers which may be decorative tethers. These tethers prevent the user from dropping or losing the device and function as a convenience to the user. While useful for such purposes, these tethers are generally decorative and serve no useful information providing, or other utilitarian, function other than for aesthetic purposes. Apple wants to change this.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.