Apple Patents Depict Three New Products That Could Transform the Tech Brand

New year, new Apple.

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Apple is looking to leave its mark on much more than just the smartphone and computer industries.

A series of newly granted patents published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Tuesday reveal that the Cupertino-based company is toying with the idea of developing multiplayer games, a ride-hailing app, and even its own clothing.

These three concepts came bundled in a group of 43 patents the USPTO approved and published to kick off the new year. This documentation doesn’t mean Apple will certainly release any of these products in the future, but they’re a sign that the company wants to expand its horizons. The patents were first reported by Patently Apple.

Apple Patents: iClothing

Apple wearables have been absolutely killing it, raking in more than $10 billion in sales over four quarters as of September 2018. It seems that the company wants to recreate those successes with its own brand of smart clothing.

apple smart clothing
The mysterious image that accompanied Apple's "Smart Fabric" patent filing.

The USPTO granted Apple a patent for a “Smart Fabric” that only came with one image attached. This mockup came with no description but is reminiscent of many new nano-materials that can infuse OLED screens into clothing.

Tech like this could result in iPads that are embedded right on the sleeve of your coat.

Apple Patents: An Uber for Apple

The company is also cooking up its own ride hailing service that would be incorporated into Apple Maps. That could mean that instead of having to set up an account with Uber or Lyft, Apple users could just use their App Store payment information to call a cab.

apple uber ride hailing service patent concept
A high-level flowchart of how an Apple Maps  ride hailing app could work.

Apple is in the process of reconstructing its navigation app, which would need to be finalized before it can roll out a a taxi service. However, a software product like this would box out third-party apps and incentivize iPhone users to pick it over the likes of Lyft or Uber.

Apple Patents: Multiplayer Gaming System

Finally, the company has patented plans for an online space for multiplayer games. The blueprint that accompanied the filing resembled the interface used for many online mini games, like Skribbl.io. It could act like the software competent to the possible gaming hardware the company patent perviously.

apple patent gaming system

Apple was granted the patent for an all-screen iPhone or iPad on December 18. The documents described that that products could be used as game controllers, like a PlayStation or Xbox.

This could be the early interface of how a potential Apple gaming system would let friends join an online room to play games.