Yesterday I wrote about the trend towards wearable tech and now a new Apple patent has revealed the company’s desire to enter that particular tech sector.
The team at AppleInsider has unearthed a US Patent Office filing that covers what Apple is calling a “smart shoe” system. The patent features sensors that can track wear and usage on a pair of sneakers. As a buyer wears down their shoes the sensors tell them when it’s time to buy a new pair.
The patent for smart shoes also includes a companion app which would chart a shoes progress via mobile device. Apple may also include build-in LED lights, speakers or displays on the shoes.
In the patent filing Apple explains how the technology would work — Apple would embed a small processor and other hardware components in the heel of each shoe along with others in the sole and along various other points to monitor wear and tear. Sensors built into the shoe would include a basic pedometer, activity and motion detectors which would chart how long a shoe was worn and how much activity it experienced. Based on the recommended walking hours life cycle for each pair of sneakers Apple would offer advice for buying a new pair.
The Apple patent calls for either a built-in battery supply or a system in which the actual motion of walking or running would store energy to power the sneakers. Kinetic energy could ultimately win out given the type of wearable tech Apple is working with.
This is not the first time Apple has applied for wearable tech patents, last year the company also revealed its desire to work with embedded sensors on workout clothes in order to provide immediate user feedback and workout suggestions.
While some tech firms are focusing on wearable tech that protects our privacy from facial recognition and other software, Apple appears to be taking a more mainstream consumer friendly approach to everyday living.
[Image via Apple News Gator]