Apple patent application tips ‘smart shoe’

There are indications, with a patent application by Apple for a shoe that uses an embedded sensor to monitor wear [hmm!] that it is thinking about wearable tech for the future – which will inevitably mean at least a foray into health monitoring. Apple Patent Application Tips ‘Smart Shoe’ from PC Magazine.

Thinking about wearable sensors and health starts us down the ‘Quantified Self‘ train of thought. Editor Steve only twigged recently [duh!] that this is an extremely geeky play on words referring not only to measuring one’s activity, but that ‘quantifying’ is something done by ‘quants‘ – “experts in mathematics, physics and computer science who brought sophisticated quantitative approaches to the world of Wall Street”.

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  1. Cathy

    I stopped going for shoes fitting in my teens (I remember the day well because Mother took me and I persuaded her I needed lace ups with heels. Father was aghast since he had always taken care that we had shoes that were healthy for our feet – but even he had to admit I walked better in those than the flat ones he had kept insisting on.

    Surely this invention would take us all back to getting fittings since the shoes would need to be personally programmed to our gait, any idiosyncrasies of our foot position, etc … I can see the value of the wearable technology just think this is not a good example of a benefit against hassle to gain it.

    [i]I have to admit to having a giggle when I read your bit in italics Steve – I had an image of the school careers officer with an unruly student “What do you mean you want to be a Quant? Do you mean you want to be a fashion designer” “No sir – I mean I want to be a quant … “[/i]


    Stealth tracking; I love it. You track the product and not the person. But hey what do you know, by tracking the shoe’s position we inadvertently know where the person is. How did that happen?

    Seriously though. Forget fitting, forget gait, bunions, missing toes, one foot bigger than the other – it is exactly what carers want. geo fencing is only as good as the product’s utilisation. Everyone needs shoes right? And those that don’t wear shoes in the street are easier to spot and some kind sole (see what I did there?) will always offer to help that person home or get a Bobby on the Beat to assist.


    What I forgot to say was I understand that this technology is not being designed to be tracked but you can track the Apples anywhere so I don’t see why this iWalker would be any different.

  4. Cathy

    But there are already GPS shoes in development testing … Apple’s offering isn’t going to be phone connected according to the article where it says “when the shoe has reached its breaking point. At that time, an alarm in the form of an LED light, speaker, or display, will let owners know it’s time to go shopping.”