From Smart Phones To ‘Smart Shoes’: Apple Files A Patent For Shoes That Will Notify Owner When It’s Time To Buy A New Pair

Does the world really need that? Apple ‘smart shoes’ notify users when they need replacing

By Leslie Larson

PUBLISHED: 19:52 EST, 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 20:09 EST, 25 January 2013

Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs personally favored athletic shoes by New Balance but now the tech company is looking to create a line of smart shoes that would alert owners when the footwear needs to be replaced.

The shoes would have sensors installed in the heels that would alert the wearer when the footwear was worn down.

The alert could come in the form of a flashing light or beep but would also incorporate a wireless interface, presumably connecting to an iPhone or iPad.

Smart shoesSmart shoes: Apple has filed a patent for a technology that would embed a sensor in the back of shoes and alert the wearer when it was time to upgrade

The Cupertino-based company filed designs for the invention with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in July 2012 and it was publicized on Thursday by AppleInsider.

‘Shoes (including sneakers or boots, for example) provide comfort and protection for feet,’ the company wrote in their patent application, explaining that ‘when a critical wear level is reached, even if the shoe looks like it is not particularly worn, the shoe may not provide adequate support and may, in fact, cause damage to feet.’

The technology is similar to the Nike+ line, which is compatible with Apple devices. It features soles that are crafted to embed a sensor that tracks the athletic performance of its owner.

The sensor monitors workout activity and that information is transmitted to a smartphone app that tracks and compiles a person’s workout history.

CEO fashionCEO fashion: The late Steve Jobs, in May 2011 before his death in Oct. 2011, wore New Balance sneakers as part of his uniform

Last January, it was reported that Apple had filed a trademark for developing a system that would embed sensors in a variety of workout clothes that could monitor overall body movements during a workout.

News of the Apple patent this week has created buzz that the company could be working on its own branded shoes.

Though some industry insiders downplayed the likelihood of Apple shoes hitting Foot Locker anytime soon.

One analyst told PC Magazine that the company was exploring the technology but would more than likely be taking it slow.

‘We believe that Apple will eventually introduce some type of wearable computing product,’ Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said on January 3.

He suggested a Bluetooth-enabled smartwatch or Google-like glasses might be among the first offerings.

Power exercisePower exercise: Nike has a line of shoes that allow users to embed a sensor and track their workouts


TechnologyTechnology: The Nike technology is compatible with Apple products


Posted on January 26, 2013, in Science / Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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