Apple has filed a patent for something called "smart garments." We can only assume this refers to something that will add functionality to the Nike+ kit, as it describes "...a method of electronically pairing a sensor and a garment, comprising:(a) establishing a communication link between the sensor and the garment;(b) determining if the garment is an authorized garment; and© electronically pairing the garment and the sensor."
The main complaint about the current Nike+ kit is the lack of information that professional runners want, like GPS location, heart rate and so on. The interesting thing about this filing is that it could monitor things like shoe wear and geographic location.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Before you answer, check out point B above. "...Determining if the garment is an authorized garment." Many people who run in shoes other than Nikes would like to use the kit, which they can do with the help of a small pouch.
New Scientist suggests that clothing equipped with an RFID chip -- which is necessary for the transmitter/iPod paring -- could be embedded in "authorized" clothing, rendering the kit inoperable with, say, New Balance shoes (Steve's personal favorite).
Of course, it's common practice for large companies to copyright things they'll never use, so don't hold your breath for an iShirt.
[Via Macsimum News]