Apple Applies for Shoe Sensor Patent

January 29, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Apple’s R&D is really pumping it up these days and the latest news suggests that they are into shoes now. Yes, the plain old thing that has been saving our feet for the last few centuries.

Shoes face problems like wear and tear and often the users are not aware of it unless their feet touches the ground through the soles. But Apple doesn’t want that to happen.

That is why they have applied for a shoe sensor patent that is related to sensors that can be placed in shoes and these tiny gadgets will inform the user whether its time to replace his walk buddies. The alert could come in the form of a flashing light or beep but would also incorporate a wireless interface, possibly connecting to an iPhone or iPad.


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

The idea of the patent is to warn users of athletic shoes when a “critical wear level has been reached,” in which case the shoe may not supply support and could injure the wearer.

While the patent may never end up being used for a real Apple product, it’s fascinating to see the company looking outside of the gadgets we use everyday to the “internet of things” like shoes.

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