A future version of the Apple could run its antennas throughout the body of the wearable device, including adhering to wireless connectivity on the rear case, to improve reception quality.
Apple relies on several types of radio signals to function, including those governing Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, and cellular connections. As these systems rely on capturing different wavelengths with precision, this involves the use of multiple antennas, as one antenna may be effective for one type of signal but not another.
Aside from finding space for all the antennas, the quantity also means that they have the potential to interfere with each other, making it essential that the antennas are positioned perfectly.
In a patent issued Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office titled “Electronic devices having integrated antenna structures,” Apple suggests a solution in the form of a dielectric rear wall of the housing on the back of the Apple, which could be used to house some antennas.
Apple proposes that a back circuit module could be formed on the back wall of the case, which may include a printed circuit substrate, sensor components, circuitry and other elements, as well as support structures between the substrate. and the dielectric housing. This circuit module could include coil structures on the back side, allowing wireless charging and other similar functions to work.
The substrate could also include openings that can allow the passage of components and sensor circuitry, such as the rear module used to monitor the user’s heart rate.
For antennas, Apple says it could embed an antenna resonant element into the substrate, with several such elements embedded on opposite sides. These items could be attached to radio frequency transceiver circuits feeding items such as NFC, with the record indicating that this would be used for radio frequency signals above 10 GHz.
A plurality of metal and dielectric layers could be stacked on the substrate, sandwiched between the substrate layers, which could be used to create an antenna resonance element. More layers could be applied to create a radio frequency transmission line.
Versions of this could use protruding elements in the dielectric structure to keep the antenna resonance elements, which are extended away from sensor components and traffic to minimize interference.
In short, Apple’s suggestion is to want to mount antennas on a layer towards the back of Apple’s internal components. While this may allow the antennas to have more room to operate without interference, it does move the antennas away from the surface of the top face of the Apple itself, which would be the most ideal position for the antennas at place if they do not interfere. with the screen.
Apple views the diaper as a loop, so it doesn’t interfere with the heart rate sensor.
Placing it near the back case and wrist isn’t entirely a bad idea, as it leaves the sides of the Apple case that don’t have sensors and buttons ideal places for radio signals to pass.
The patent lists its inventors as Daniel J. Hiemstra, Jayesh Nath and Timothy B. Ogilvie. It was originally filed on September 26, 2019.
Apple files numerous patent applications each week, but while the existence of a patent indicates areas of interest to Apple’s research arm, that does not guarantee that ideas will appear in a future product or service.
This isn’t Apple’s only look at creating new antennas for the Apple lineup. In August, Apple wanted to integrate antennas for wireless connectivity inside an Apple’s display, while a November 2019 filing suggested the antennas could be hidden in the strip.