It’s simple – at current saturation rates, in 8,34 years, 89% of the world’s population will have an Apple iPod or iPhone. The last 11 percent rest content in having thwarted digital takeover, nursing dilapidated Walkmans and half-eaten vinyl Sound Burgers. Make no mistake, nearly everyone will have an Apple-branded portable of some sort. But, with Apple’s ultimate victory in the portable market, their next dire concern will be to discover methods to remain viable in a saturated market. Apple know portable – it has been hardwired into their immune system since the original iPod and kept them afloat long enough to revolutionise the computer industry yet again. Enter the iShoe, Apcamper, iJogger, niKE, etc. – a new wave of Apple-buoyed electronic fashion accessories.
While Apple (and the world) have a ways to go yet, mark my words, the day is coming when our soles will be bared to Apple’s ceaseless innovation. Last year, Apple filed two interesting patents which AppleInsider have dug up: a wireless headset, and a shoe-insole sensor. The first allows users to listen to music and accept telephone calls from a paired mobile phone. Right, so you have heard that one before. Well, not quite; the new device doesn’t pair directly to the phone for music playback. Inside is a battery, Bluetooth receiver/transmitter, flash memory and a system-on-chip (SOC) which allows it to function as an ultra-portable standalone digital audio player. It can also take calls and record conversations.
The second patent is where Apple really break the mould. It is a shoe outsole wear sensor which heels to your insole. Confused? Don’t be – it merely replaces your eyes and an acute sense of pain which hitherto have reminded you to buy new shoes. Methinks this idea’s traction runs a bit thin; shoe soles, like trousers, are made of a variety of materials, some of which wear out quickly, and others which may last for years. Unless everyone wears the same shoes, this idea won’t work. Sure, Nike might last 6 months and Camper 6 years, but how is an accelerometer going to know this? But, maybe that is where Apple’s true genius loafs: if they can market a premium Camper model, a sweaty Nike model, and a diamond-studded Louis Vuitton model, they are sure to garner support from manufacturers who have waited for a practical reason for users to replace their shoes as often as possible.
AppleInsider point out that both patents were filed in April of last year, and that like many patents, may never see production. TMA reckon that Apple, like Little’ Britton’s compulsive finger-pointer, Andy, are ready for any new idea.