Apple patent shows shoe sensor for information on sole death

Chris Burns - Jan 27, 2013, 3:46 pm CDT
Apple patent shows shoe sensor for information on sole death

If you’ve got a pair of shoes that are so old that your feet touch the ground, you’re going to need a new pair – this will no longer have to be a scenario where you have to make that judgement if Apple’s newest patent application is realized. In the application revealed this week, Apple has shown an outline for how they might place sensors in shoes that track the wear and tear on the soles of the footwear in a variety of ways. The end result will be a pair of shoes that informs the wearer if they get worn out while walking then warns every subsequent wearer (if there are any) that they are not fit to use.

This system in one case decides how much you’ve used the shoes based on the movement of a “body bar.” This bar works with a coupling mechanism attached to a detector that senses movement of the bar when they’re active. This way you’ve got a sensor that only activates when enough weight is placed in the shoes, then only when you’re pressing down on the soles (not while you’ve got your feet dangling). Another suggestion from the patent includes notes of how you’d be able to use this system for more than just knowledge of wear.

If you’d have sensors such as this showing the pressure along the sole of your shoe, you’d also have the ability to track your movements in an advanced way. If you’re seeing how well a person is walking, how much and with how much pressure they’re moving, you’ve got an advanced physical activity system in the making. These systems are being suggested to be paired with wireless connectivity (wi-fi or Bluetooth), LED displays, speakers, and more.

While we’ve never seen Apple create a shoe on their own in the past, we’ve seen collaborations between them and Nike more than once. This patent application is likely set for a bit of footwear that could potentially exist in the future, but there’s no real sign at the moment (other than the patent itself) that any such footwear is currently in the works. What do you think, readers – is it time for Apple to create their own brand of clothing and shoes?

[via CNET]

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