Apple investigates media playing headset, shoe wear-out sensor

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A string of new patent applications have revealed potentially unique products from Apple, including a MP3 playing headset and a sensor that would detect when a shoe needs to be replaced.



Headset with integrated MP3 player



Apple's concept for a new MP3 player would combine a Bluetooth headset for use with a cell phone, but include a separate, standalone MP3 player. Such an idea, the company's patent application reads, would save battery life on the cell phone and have media played exclusively through the headset.



"When used with mobile telephones, such headsets are frequently worn continually by their users, even when not engaged in telephone calls, because it is too inconvenient to have to reinsert the headset in one's ear each time a call comes in, while the phone is ringing and before the caller gives up and disconnects," the application reads. "Therefore, such headsets may be idle most of the time that they are being worn."



The new hardware would solve this issue by adding functionality to the wireless headset, allowing it to be used as a media player while calls are not being made. The hardware would include a wireless headset, a receiver that would accept audio signals from an external device, internal memory for storing media files, and accompanying circuitry to play back those media files.



Recording also plays a part in the described device. The wireless headset would be able to record all or part of a conversation that takes place when the hardware is used with an external cell phone or landline. In addition, voicemail messages on the phone could be transferred to the headset for playback when not connected.



The hardware is shown in two forms: One much like a traditional Bluetooth headset that uses only one ear, and another model that covers both ears and provides music in stereo. The patent application was filed on April 29, 2008.







Shoe sole wear-out sensor



Also revealed this week was a patent application for a sort of e-shoe from Apple. The described device would include a detector sensing whether the sole of a shoe has been worn out, and then notify the user.



"Shoes (including sneakers or boots, for example) provide comfort and protection for feet. More importantly, shoes provide physical support for feet to reduce risk of foot injuries," the application reads. "A shoe is often necessary to provide support during intense physical activity, such as running, soccer and American football. 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."



While the described system would primarily keep track of the physical condition of the shoe and whether it needs to be replaced, it would also include elements to track motion and activity over time. Using an accelerometer and force sensing resistor, a "use accumulator" would help determine how much wear and tear the shoe received over time.



Such a shoe could include an LED light and an audible device that would be used to indicate when the shoe is worn out. The patent application was originally filed on April 16, 2008.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Shoe sole wear-out sensor



    I'm sorry, but why in the world would Apple be doing this?
  • Reply 2 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    I'm sorry, but why in the world would Apple be doing this?



    So that Steve Jobs knows when he needs to pop by his nearest New Balance stockist.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Such a shoe could include an LED light and an audible device that would be used to indicate when the shoe is worn out. The patent application was originally filed on April 16, 2008.



    Splendid - I've always thought that waiting until my feet were wet was too basic!
  • Reply 4 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by womble2k2 View Post


    So that Steve Jobs knows when he needs to pop by his nearest New Balance stockist.



    He probably wears a brand new pair every day.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Sounds like they are working on building Nike+ Sensors into shoes, and this is just a byproduct.



    As a Nike+ user this is good news!
  • Reply 6 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    I'm sorry, but why in the world would Apple be doing this?



    Probably because Nike have a userbase who would actually obey a pair of shoes...
  • Reply 7 of 46
    A shuffle integrated into a pair of headphones wouldn't be a bad idea.
  • Reply 8 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    I'm sorry, but why in the world would Apple be doing this?



    Because there's no business like shoe business.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    I'm sorry, but why in the world would Apple be doing this?



    Maybe Apple wants to corner the market on clothing that talking with your other electronics. Shoelaces that send you a Push Notification that they have come untied. Hats that inform you that it has started to rain if it feels consolidated moisture after it confirms with a weather DB by your GPS location has a chance for rain. Ties that let you know you got mustard on them and change colours to camouflage the unfortunate stain. Underwear garments that monitor your body daily and give you a graph of your health over time, even suggesting increases or decreases in certain foods and supplements.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oseame View Post


    Probably because Nike have a userbase who would actually obey a pair of shoes...



    LOL. I thought that was only true of Sprite drinkers, but now that you mention it....
  • Reply 11 of 46
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quick, somebody buy the domain name "iShoe.com" ASAP!
  • Reply 12 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by michaelt View Post


    Because there's no business like shoe business.



    Congratulations - that is officially the most cheesy joke I've ever heard!
  • Reply 13 of 46
    Let's see.... Apple has Mac Pros, iMacs, iPods, iPhones and..... shoes.



    What is this obsession with shoes?
  • Reply 14 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Congratulations - that is officially the most cheesy joke I've ever heard!



    Don't know if that's good or bad, but I guess if the shoe fits...
  • Reply 15 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DKWalsh4 View Post


    I'm sorry, but why in the world would Apple be doing this?



    Because patents are valuable for licensing. Nike or Adidas (or any one of a thousand other shoe manufacturers) might find value in this patent in the future and in case anyone hasn't noticed, there are billions of shoes in this world. It's a smart reconcepting of the tire wear sensor used in high end vehicles.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by michaelt View Post


    Because there's no business like shoe business.



    Ding! Best answer so far.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,513member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Underwear garments that monitor your body daily and give you a graph of your health over time, even suggesting increases or decreases in certain foods and supplements.



    Beep, you should cut down on the quesadillas and you have been wearing me for two weeks, beep.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,579member
    There must be a typo in the filing date. It reads April 16 2008. I am certain it should be reading April 1 2008.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by michaelt View Post


    Because there's no business like shoe business.



    Technology brought to YOU(Young Out-there-to-be-ripped-off User) by the AFFP (The American Federation of Footwear Pedlars). Beep! Your shoe may LOOK fine but it really isn't. Please REPLACE NOW! Beep!
  • Reply 20 of 46
    Maybe it's to prevent Steve's wife from going "Imelda Marcos" on him?
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