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Forget Apple Watch 7 — new Apple patent reveals smart clothing

Are smart clothes the next big thing in wearable technology? According to a patent, Apple is working on ‘smart fabric’ for clothing like shirts, hats and more. And as someone who both enjoys fashion and embraces the cyborg life, I really, really want to try these connected garments out.

But since it’s just a patent — flagged by PatentlyApple — Apple’s smart fabric won’t be landing in my wardrobe or fashion show runways anytime soon. For all we know, the company hasn’t even made physical prototypes of its newly-protected designs, which feature fabric buttons with sensor circuitry for undisclosed controls.

The smart fabric buttons could house an array of sensors, from optical, ambient light, temperature, and air gesture sensors, to proximity sensors and tech for picking up health information. Time-of-flight (or LiDAR) sensors could also be borrowed from the iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro.