Apple is looking to expand the sensor technology Nike has pioneered into other sportswear than shoes, with news that it could soon be heading to a ski slope near you.
A new patent reveals Apple's plans to adapt the Nike + iPod sensor so that it can work in sports garments other than running shoes.
The patent describes how the new technology will be able to be used on certain 'authorised' shirts and tracksuit bottoms (so-called 'smart garments') and how it will also be added to sports equipment such as skis and in-line skates.
The Nike+ iPod sensor has been a massive success for both companies so it's easy to see why Apple would want to expand this technology.
Interestingly, though, there's nowhere in the patent that actually mentions Nike so it may be that Apple wants to go it alone when it comes to smart garment technology.
Competition and camaraderie
"Outdoors endurance activities have become very popular not only because they are enjoyable and healthy, but also because they provide opportunities for competition, camaraderie, and a structured regimen," explained the patent's blurb, which seems to be written by the same author as the Scouting For Boys handbook.
It continued: "It would be beneficial for an individual participating in an outdoor endurance activity such as running, cross-country skiing, in-line skating, or outdoor swimming to be able to monitor his or her performance in metrics such as speed, distance, slope, elevation, equipment used (thereby correlating an individual's performance to particular running shoes, for example)."
The patent mentions that the sensor technology can also tell users when their sporting outfits are getting too old.
That's right, Apple could soon be telling you that you look shabby and you need a new iGarment. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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