Feeds

Apple wants to OWN YOUR VERY SOLE

Patented location-garb, shoes points out nearest bogs

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Clothes that track your every move could fill Apple fanbois' wardrobes after the fruity tech titan patented new wearable technology. The designs, approved yesterday, describe "smart garments" with embedded sensors and a two-way communications link to an external database.

Based on the existing Nike+ iPod trainers, the new patent extends the idea beyond running shoes. Ski-boots, shirts and trousers were cited as potential pickings for sensor. The patent also includes descriptions of potential new functions which go far beyond what is currently available on the Nike+ range.

The patented sensors would track "garment usage" and "detect wear patterns":

A sensor authenticated to a garment transfers information, either wirelessly or wired, to an external data processing device. Such information includes location information, physiometric data of the individual wearing the garment, garment performance and wear data

Specifically, the hypothetical Apple running shoes could change your iTunes playlist according to how you move, tell the manufacturer of the shoes how often and long you use them, suggest public toilets to you and tell you when you need to buy new shoes.

Taking into account your physiology, the shoes would allow you to race against the average speeds for people of your weight and height or encourage you to enter virtual running competitions against folks on the web.

Apple smart garment patent, credit US Patent Office

While some aspects of the patent are useful - for example recording your running style and measuring the forces that you put on areas of your feet - Apple has cunningly imagined ways to make money from your exercise: the patent describes giving gathered data about usage patterns back to manufacturers and pushing location-specific advertising to punters.

In Cupertino style, users would be prevented from putting their sensors on unauthorised clothing. The patent application complained that people were in the habit of removing spy circuits from authorised trainers and putting them in unofficial items. Apple doesn't like that.

Awarded to Apple on 17 January 2012, patent 8,099,258 was filed in 2010 by Brett G Alten and Robert Edward Borchers. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.