Patents by Inventor Daniel A. Podhajny

Daniel A. Podhajny has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 11339510
    Abstract: 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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Kathryn P. Crews, Yohji Hamada
  • Publication number: 20220127761
    Abstract: A fabric-based item may include a housing that is covered in fabric. Areas of the fabric may overlap input circuitry such as button switches, touch sensors, force sensors, proximity sensors, and other sensing circuitry and may overlap other components such as light-emitting components and haptic output devices. The fabric-based item may include control circuitry that gathers user input from the input circuitry and wireless communications circuitry that the control circuitry uses to transmit remote control commands and other wireless signals in response information from the input circuitry. The fabric-based item may have a weight that is located in the housing to orient the housing in a desired direction when the housing rests on a surface. A movable weight may tilt the housing in response to proximity sensor signals or other input. Portions of the fabric may overlap light-emitting components and optical fiber configured to emit light.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2022
    Publication date: April 28, 2022
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Daniel D. Sunshine, Kathryn P. Crews
  • Patent number: 11315880
    Abstract: A fabric-based item may include fabric such as woven fabric having insulating and conductive yarns or other strands of material. The conductive yarns may form signal paths. Electrical components can be embedded within pockets in the fabric. Each electrical component may have an electrical device such as a semiconductor die that is mounted on an interposer substrate. The electrical device may be a light-emitting diode, a sensor, an actuator, or other electrical device. The electrical device may have contacts that are soldered to contacts on the interposer. The interposer may have additional contacts that are soldered to the signal paths. The fabric may have portions that form transparent windows overlapping the electrical components or that have other desired attributes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel D. Sunshine, Paul S. Drzaic, Daniel A. Podhajny, David M. Kindlon, Hoon Sik Kim, Kathryn P. Crews, Yung-Yu Hsu
  • Patent number: 11306420
    Abstract: An article of footwear including an upper incorporating a knitted component having color-shifting properties is provided. Color-shift properties can be generated by one or more lenticular knit structures disposed across the upper of the article of footwear. The lenticular knit structures are formed of unitary knit construction with the remaining portions of the knitted component. The lenticular knit structures have portions formed with different yarns. The different yarns on the portions of the lenticular knit structures generate a visual effect that changes the color of the article of footwear depending on the viewing angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2022
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Adrian Meir, Daniel A. Podhajny
  • Publication number: 20220112636
    Abstract: The present disclosure, in one aspect, provides an upper for an article of footwear. The upper may include a knitted component. The knitted component may include a knit element, a first tensile strand with an exposed first end, and a second tensile strand with an exposed second end. The first tensile strand may be at least partially inlaid within the knit element, the second tensile strand may be at least partially inlaid within the knit element, and the exposed first end of the first tensile element may be secured to the exposed second end of the second tensile element. One or more braids including tensile strands can be part of a main braid configured to wrap around a heel region of the upper and to be secured to a medial side of the upper.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 22, 2021
    Publication date: April 14, 2022
    Inventors: Tory M. Cross, Daniel A. Podhajny
  • Publication number: 20220107695
    Abstract: A touch-sensitive textile device that is configured to detect the occurrence of a touch, the location of a touch, and/or the force of a touch on the touch-sensitive textile device. In some embodiments, the touch-sensitive textile device includes a first set of conductive threads oriented along a first direction, and a second set of conductive threads interwoven with the first set of conductive threads and oriented along a second direction. The device may also include a sensing circuit that is operatively coupled to the first and second set of conductive threads. The sensing circuit may be configured to apply a drive signal to the first and second set of conductive threads. The sensing circuit may also be configured to detect a touch or near touch based on a variation in an electrical measurement using the first or second set of conductive threads.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2021
    Publication date: April 7, 2022
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Kathryn P. Crews, Daniel D. Sunshine
  • Publication number: 20220095049
    Abstract: A wearable device can provide an audio module that is operable to provide audio output from a distance away from the ears of the user. For example, the wearable device can be worn on clothing of the user and direct audio waves to the ears of the user. Such audio waves can be focused by a parametric array of speakers that limit audibility by others. Thus, the privacy of the audio directed to the user can be maintained without requiring the user to wear audio headsets on, over, or in the ears of the user. The wearable device can further include microphones and/or connections to other devices that facilitate calibration of the audio module of the wearable device. The wearable device can further include user sensors that are configured to detect, measure, and/or track one or more properties of the user.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2021
    Publication date: March 24, 2022
    Inventors: Daniel A. PODHAJNY, Joshua A. HOOVER, Nicholas R. TRINCIA, Yue CHEN, Seul Bi KIM, Chad J. MILLER, Kristen L. CRETELLA, Yi ZOU, William LEITH
  • Patent number: 11274382
    Abstract: Three-dimensional weaving, knitting, or braiding tools may be used to create three-dimensional fabric (24) with internal pockets (56). The pockets (56) may be shaped to receive electrical components such as switch electrodes (46A, 46B) for a switch (18). The fabric (24) may have adjacent first and second layers that are interposed between the switch electrodes (46A, 46B). The switch electrodes (46A, 46B) may be biased apart using magnets (46A-1, 46B-1) or other biasing structure. In a region of the fabric (24) that overlaps the first and second switch electrodes (46A, 46B), the first and second layers of fabric may be disconnected from each other. This allows the first and second layers to pull away from each other so that the electrodes (46A, 46B) are separated by the biasing force from the biasing structure. The switch (18) can be closed by pressing the electrodes (46A, 46B) together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, James G. Griffin, II
  • Patent number: 11255028
    Abstract: A fabric-based item may include a housing that is covered in fabric. Areas of the fabric may overlap input circuitry such as button switches, touch sensors, force sensors, proximity sensors, and other sensing circuitry and may overlap other components such as light-emitting components and haptic output devices. The fabric-based item may include control circuitry that gathers user input from the input circuitry and wireless communications circuitry that the control circuitry uses to transmit remote control commands and other wireless signals in response information from the input circuitry. The fabric-based item may have a weight that is located in the housing to orient the housing in a desired direction when the housing rests on a surface. A movable weight may tilt the housing in response to proximity sensor signals or other input. Portions of the fabric may overlap light-emitting components and optical fiber configured to emit light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2022
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Daniel D. Sunshine, Kathryn P. Crews
  • Publication number: 20220042219
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides an upper for an article of footwear. The upper may include a knit element defining a portion of at least one of an exterior surface of the upper and an opposite interior surface of the upper. The interior surface may define a void. A tongue and the knit element may have a common yarn, and the tongue may extend through a throat area of the upper. The tongue may comprise a lateral edge, a medial edge, and a forward portion. At least one of the lateral edge and the medial edge of the tongue may be unsecured to the knit element. The tongue and the knit element may comprise a common yarn at least at the forward portion of the tongue.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2021
    Publication date: February 10, 2022
    Inventors: Bhupesh Dua, Daniel A. Podhajny, Benjamin A. Shaffer, Daren P. Tatler, Bruce Huffa
  • Patent number: 11230800
    Abstract: The present disclosure, in one aspect, provides an upper for an article of footwear. The upper may include a knitted component. The knitted component may include a knit element, a first tensile strand with an exposed first end, and a second tensile strand with an exposed second end. The first tensile strand may be at least partially inlaid within the knit element, the second tensile strand may be at least partially inlaid within the knit element, and the exposed first end of the first tensile element may be secured to the exposed second end of the second tensile element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2022
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Tory M. Cross, Daniel A. Podhajny
  • Publication number: 20210407917
    Abstract: A fabric-based item may include fabric layers and other layers of material. An array of electrical components may be mounted in the fabric-based item. The electrical components may be mounted to a support structure such as a flexible printed circuit. The flexible printed circuit may have a mesh shape formed from an array of openings. Serpentine flexible printed circuit segments may extend between the openings. The electrical components may be light-emitting diodes or other electrical devices. Polymer with light-scattering particles or other materials may cover the electrical components. The flexible printed circuit may be laminated between fabric layers or other layers of material in the fabric-based item.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2021
    Publication date: December 30, 2021
    Inventors: Daniel D. Sunshine, Paul S. Drzaic, Daniel A. Podhajny, David M. Kindlon, Hoon Sik Kim, Kathryn P. Crews, Yung-Yu Hsu
  • Patent number: 11204656
    Abstract: A touch-sensitive textile device that is configured to detect the occurrence of a touch, the location of a touch, and/or the force of a touch on the touch-sensitive textile device. In some embodiments, the touch-sensitive textile device includes a first set of conductive threads oriented along a first direction, and a second set of conductive threads interwoven with the first set of conductive threads and oriented along a second direction. The device may also include a sensing circuit that is operatively coupled to the first and second set of conductive threads. The sensing circuit may be configured to apply a drive signal to the first and second set of conductive threads. The sensing circuit may also be configured to detect a touch or near touch based on a variation in an electrical measurement using the first or second set of conductive threads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Kathryn P. Crews, Daniel D. Sunshine
  • Patent number: 11180871
    Abstract: A fabric-based item may include fabric formed from intertwined strands of material such as intertwined strands of tubing. The strands of material may include electrophoretic ink formed from charged nanoparticles of different colors in fluid. The electrophoretic ink may be contained within strands of tubing or may be enclosed within encapsulation structures such as encapsulation spheres. Encapsulation spheres or other encapsulation structures may be embedded in clear polymer binder within tubing or other strands. Electroluminescent particles may be included in the clear polymer binder. Electric fields can be applied to the electrophoretic ink in a given area of the fabric using conductive strands that overlap the area, using conductive electrodes such as transparent conductive electrodes on strands of tubing, using coaxial electrodes, or using other electrode structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Steven J. Keating, Daniel D. Sunshine, Kathryn P. Crews, Daniel A. Podhajny, Nicholas G. L. Merz
  • Patent number: 11183459
    Abstract: A fabric-based item may include fabric layers and other layers of material. An array of electrical components may be mounted in the fabric-based item. The electrical components may be mounted to a support structure such as a flexible printed circuit. The flexible printed circuit may have a mesh shape formed from an array of openings. Serpentine flexible printed circuit segments may extend between the openings. The electrical components may be light-emitting diodes or other electrical devices. Polymer with light-scattering particles or other materials may cover the electrical components. The flexible printed circuit may be laminated between fabric layers or other layers of material in the fabric-based item.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel D. Sunshine, Paul S. Drzaic, Daniel A. Podhajny, David M. Kindlon, Hoon Sik Kim, Kathryn P. Crews, Yung-Yu Hsu
  • Publication number: 20210352994
    Abstract: An upper for an article of footwear is configured to be connected to a sole structure and is configured to receive a foot. The upper includes a knitted component having a strobel portion that is configured to be disposed underneath the foot. The strobel portion defines an interior surface and an exterior surface of the knitted component. The strobel portion defines a strobel passage between the interior surface and the exterior surface. Also, the upper includes a tensile strand that extends through the strobel passage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 29, 2021
    Publication date: November 18, 2021
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Chung-Ming Chang, Ya-Fang Chen, Pei-Ju Su
  • Patent number: 11155945
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides an upper for an article of footwear. The upper may include a knit element defining a portion of at least one of an exterior surface of the upper and an opposite interior surface of the upper. The interior surface may define a void. A tongue and the knit element may have a common yarn, and the tongue may extend through a throat area of the upper. The tongue may comprise a lateral edge, a medial edge, and a forward portion. At least one of the lateral edge, the medial edge, and the forward portion may be unsecured to the knit element. The tongue may be secured to the knit element at least at one of the lateral edge, the medial edge, and the forward portion of the throat area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Bhupesh Dua, Daniel A. Podhajny, Benjamin A. Shaffer, Daren P. Tatler, Bruce Huffa
  • Patent number: 11142853
    Abstract: An article of footwear including an upper incorporating a knitted component having color-shifting properties is provided. Color-shift properties can be generated by one or more lenticular knit structures disposed across the upper of the article of footwear. The lenticular knit structures are formed of unitary knit construction with the remaining portions of the knitted component. The lenticular knit structures have portions formed with different yarns. The different yarns on the portions of the lenticular knit structures generate a visual effect that changes the color of the article of footwear depending on the viewing angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Adrian Meir, Daniel A. Podhajny
  • Patent number: 11124904
    Abstract: Weaving equipment may include strand positioning equipment that positions warp strands and that inserts weft strands among the warp strands to form fabric. The weaving equipment may include one or more guide arms that pushes warp strands in the weft direction during weaving. Fabrics having warp strands that extend in both the warp direction and the weft direction may be used in forming circuitry in fabrics such as touch sensor circuitry. For example, a touch sensor in a fabric may be formed using first conductive warp strands that form first touch sensor electrodes and second conductive warp strands that form second touch sensor electrodes that overlap with the first touch sensor electrodes. The second conductive warp strands may each have a first portion that extends in the warp direction and a second portion that extends in the weft direction across the first touch sensor electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2021
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Yohji Hamada, Kathryn P. Crews, Joseph B. Walker, Daniel D. Sunshine
  • Patent number: 11116274
    Abstract: An upper for an article of footwear is configured to be connected to a sole structure and is configured to receive a foot. The upper includes a knitted component having a strobel portion that is configured to be disposed underneath the foot. The strobel portion defines an interior surface and an exterior surface of the knitted component. The strobel portion defines a strobel passage between the interior surface and the exterior surface. Also, the upper includes a tensile strand that extends through the strobel passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2021
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Podhajny, Chung-Ming Chang, Ya-Fang Chen, Pei-Ju Su