June 6, 2019
Inverse recently reported that Apple has been granted a patent for a smart seat belt (patent number 10,189,434). This suggests that Apple is continuing to work on an automotive product, and potentially a group of smart products related to automotive applications.
The patent reveals that Apple’s smart seat belt or “augmented safety restraint” could include gesture-sensing technology, biometric sensors, speakers, a microphone and a display. According to Inverse, the seat belt detailed in the patent documents “basically puts a sophisticated version of a car dashboard right on your chest.” The seat belt will make use of gesture controls and smart fabric technology. Apple already has patents for both of these concepts.
As reported by Apple Insider, interesting features of Apple’s smart seat belt include:
biometric sensors to detect heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, blood alcohol content and CO level. The patent specifically states that users will be prevented from driving if they have had too much to drink;
photovoltaic devices to make use of solar energy; and
enhanced speaker technology that involves “two spaced apart speakers … to provide an audio experience specific to a passenger”.
There are likely more patents to come from the popular technology company in connection with its developing automobile smart system.
Authors: Sarah Stothart and Alexandra Murray