In what may indicate an even closer tie with Nike, Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,578,927) for a “shoe wear-out sensor, body-bar sensing system, unit less activity accessment, and associated methods” that will tell you when your sneakers, boots, and shoes for running, soccer, and American football. This is Apple’s second patent for such an invention; the first was 9,578927.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that, as a shoe wears, physical support provided by the shoe decreases, thereby reducing associated protection from injury. When a critical wear level is reached, even if the shoe looks like it’s not particularly worn, the shoe may not provide adequate support and may, in fact, cause damage to feet. The tech giant wants “a software product” on a”computer readable media” (likely an iOS app on an iPhone) that would help you keep track of the wear and tear on your footwear.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A system assesses activity and displays a unitless activity value. A detector senses activity of a user. A processor reads sensed activity data from the detector. A display displays the unitless activity value. An enclosure houses the detector and the processor. The processor periodically reads the sensed activity data from the detector and processes the data to generate an activity number, the number being used to generate the unitless activity value based upon a maximum number and a display range.”
Apple Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.
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