Apple plans 'smart shoe' that knows when it's worn out

Jan 24, 2013

Shoes will contain technology that measure use - shame the name iShoe is already taken

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APPLE fans are known to go to great lengths in order to get their hands on the company's products. Soon they could be able to measure the impact of all the queuing and traipsing round stores is having on their footwear.

According to the website Apple Insider, the company has applied for a series of patents that could be used to build a 'smart shoe'.

"The patent basically involves three main components: a detector for sensing when the shoe wears out; a processor to measure the detector's data; and an alarm for alerting the user when a shoe is no longer stable," explains the website. The main use of all the technology would, says the website, be to let people know when they needed to get a new pair.

Another Apple site, Patently Apple, says the "wear-out system” would warn athletes when their running shoe, ski boot and/or soccer cleats "were no longer properly supporting their foot".

It's not the first time Apple has looked at the idea of a 'smart shoes', notes Tech Crunch. In January last year it was granted a patent for sensors that could be implanted in clothing, including shoes, to measure the amount of energy being expended in workouts.

"Wearable computing is bound to be a growing concern for any major consumer electronics maker in the next few years," the site adds, pointing out that the thinking behind a smart shoe is not a million miles removed from that which inspired Google's high-tech glasses, as modeled recently by Sergei Brin on the New York subway.

The idea sounds rather more sophisticated than the shoe-based technology used by James Bond villain Rosa Klebb or spoof spy Maxwell Smart in Get Smart. However, Apple may come up against a serious problem when it wants to market its new product: the name iShoe has already been taken and belongs to a shop in Coventry.

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