If an Apple patent application is any indication, athletic shoes may start telling us when they need replacing.
In a patent filed back in July 2012, Curtis Vock and Perry Youngs are listed as the inventors of a "shoe wear-out sensor, body-bar sensing system, unitless activity assessment and associated methods," with Apple Inc. as the assignee. Vock is an intellectual property lawyer with Lathrop & Gage, a law firm based in Boulder, Colo.
The idea of the patent is to warn users of athletic shoes when a "critical wear level has been reached," in which case the shoe may not supply support and could injure the wearer. While the patent may never end up being used for a real Apple product, it's fascinating to see the company is looking outside of the gadgets we use everyday to the "internet of things" like shoes.
A full PDF of the patent filing is available for download here.