Apple has patented an iPhone-connected shoe design with self-tightening shoelaces that are not only incredibly fun but also surprisingly practical.
Just like the movie Back to the future, Apple recently presented detailed plans for self-lacing shoe technology. While the concept is hugely entertaining, it has many practical uses beyond the simple luxury benefit of high tech. To be clear, Apple has made no announcement regarding these advanced shoes. However, the US Patent Office has filed and approved official documents, making it a possible future product.
Apple is quite prolific with patents, and while many materialize as actual products, systems, or components for sale to the public, others do not. This means that any patent has the potential to be commercialized if Apple can justify the research and development investment and sees sufficient consumer or business demand. For example, Apple’s augmented reality/virtual reality headset that should be seen this year has featured prominently in several patents in recent months. In addition, the long-talked about and widely leaked Apple car is also covered by several patent documents.
One of Apple’s most exciting and entertaining patent wins revealed detailed designs and descriptions of self-tightening shoes. It would be amazing to see and feel, bringing some Back to the future fun off the big screen and on the user’s feet. The term user is appropriate since these sneakers would contain a good dose of technology. Naturally, a motor is needed to tighten the laces, and comfort and other settings would be adjustable with a paired iPhone or Apple Watch. Although this design saves the wearer the effort of tying the shoelaces, sensors allow these shoes to detect and adapt to the changing size and environmental demands of an active foot. The idea for better sneakers may have arisen as engineers strolled through the massive Apple Park complex.
Why an Apple shoe
With sensors built into Apple’s patented shoe design, it would be possible to detect increasing pressure and balance it with the user’s need for a snug fit, taking steps to adjust the tension in the shoes. laces appropriately. For example, a person at rest does not need tight shoes, and when taking off or putting on sneakers, very loose shoelaces facilitate this process. The tightness would also be adjustable via an iPhone or Apple Watch application, so it would be connected shoes.
Sensors that detect changes in pressure could tighten the laces during periods of intense activity, adapt to running, or change direction, making Apple’s kicks ideal as athletic shoes. The motor and battery that tightens the laces would be placed in the back of the shoe or in the sole and are supposed to be replaceable. Although better fitting smart shoes are welcome for everyone, they would be ideal for sports, running and hiking. There are also obvious applications for health and accessibility, as putting on and tying shoes is quite difficult for many people. While Apple might never produce his own shoes, they look fascinating and would probably sell well.
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