Apple has filed for a patent (number 20190136423) for “weaving equipment with a strand modifying unit.” Perhaps the company plans to introduce a line of smart clothing that it will produce itself.
Per the patent filing, the weaving equipment may include warp strand positioning equipment that positions warp strands and weft strand positioning equipment that inserts weft strands among the warp strands to form fabric. One or more of the warp strands may be selectively modified along its length using a warp strand modification unit.
The warp strand modification unit may be interposed between the fabric and a reed, may be interposed between the fabric and the warp strand positioning equipment, may be mounted to the reed, or may be incorporated elsewhere in the weaving equipment. Warp strand modifications may include adding segments of metallic paint coatings or other conductive coatings, adding insulating coatings, applying other liquids to segments of the warp strand, modifying the stretchiness of warp strands, removing material from segments of the warp strand, and attaching electrical components to the warp strand.
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.