Apple wants your shoes to tell you when they’re wearing out

Apple has filed for a second patent (number 20180249783) that would tell you, among other things, when your shoes are starting to wear out. If the patent ever comes to fruition, I would image it would involve the company’s ongoing partnership with Nike since I doubt we’re going to be seeing a line of Apple Shoes with embedded chips.

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The patent — dubbed “shoe wear-out sensor, body-bar sensing system, unit-less activity assessment and associated methods” — involves a detector that senses the activity of the user. A processor reads sensed activity data from the detector. 

A display displays the activity value, and 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 activity value based upon a maximum number and a display range.

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 is not particularly worn, the shoe may not provide adequate support and may, in fact, cause damage to feet. 

The first patent involving this tech was number 20170164684. It was granted in June 2017.

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.