Could Nike be the future of high-tech shoes?
We all know that Nike has been a pioneer in incorporating the latest technology into their shoes. From high performance materials to self-lacing shoes, we have seen some pretty amazing things from Nike.
But that just may be the tip of the iceberg and Nike may just be bringing us shoes that we could only dream of. Nike recently obtained a patent on certain technologies for shoes, which is U.S. Patent No. 10,178,890 (‘890 patent).
What’s in the patent?
The abstract of the ‘890 patent states that:
“presented are intelligent electronic footwear with controller automated features, methods for making/using such footwear, and control systems for executing automated features of intelligent electronic footwear. An intelligent electronic shoe (IES) … also includes a wireless communications device that wirelessly communicates with a remote computing node, and a footwear controller that communicates with the wireless communications device and alert system.”
From this alone, we can expect the ‘890 patent to cover some sort of shoe that may have some sort of wireless technology incorporated into it.
What are some the inventions covered by the ‘890 patent?
Let’s take a look at the embodiments within the ‘890 patent. The paragraphs in the patent are lengthy so we’ll break down each embodiment piece by piece:
- a system wirelessly communicating with an intelligent electronic shoe (IES) to facilitate communication between the shoe and a vehicle
- a driver is paired with the person using a ride sharing app
- the intelligent electronic shoes tracks the shoe wearer and drivers location, and when they’re within a certain distance from each other, the intelligent shoe will automatically generate a visual or audio signal to draw the driver’s attention
- a processor is built into the mid-sole of the shoe which causes the shoes to illuminate, change colors, or a combination of both]
What does this invention SEEM to do?
Nike may have incorporated a way for ridesharing and sneakers to work together to make life easier. Often times, it’s hard to spot your Uber or Lyft. But Nike may have introduced a shoe that may light up when the Uber or Lyft is nearby. It’s pretty hard for your Uber or Lyft to spot you when you’re at a crowded airport. And vice versa, it’s pretty hard for you to spot your Lyft or Uber when there are several vehicles traveling about. But with these new shoes (if they ever come out) it’d be a great way to help facilitate the ease of traveling.
Let’s take a look at one more embodiment
Again, since the disclosure is long, we will break it up into pieces.
- a footwear controller that can transmit a signal to a system of a remote node to generate a product, either visual or audio
- the remote computing node can be a vehicle with a vehicle headlamp system and the visual product initiated by the footwear controller may include illumination, flashing of the vehicle’s headlamp system.
With this embodiment, it seems like there is a shoe may emit a signal within a certain range. Vehicles within that range would receive that signal. This in turn would cause the vehicles headlights to increase in luminosity or brightness. Alternatively, the vehicle may make a sound. This would be great for increasing the safety of pedestrians walking at night. The shoes would help the vehicles see the pedestrian better, thus decreasing the chances of an accident.
An obstacle with this invention
This invention is great. But we also have to account for what people are driving. People still drive cars from the 1990s or even 1980s, which may not have the technology needed to receive the signals from the shoes.
The ‘890 patent covers more than these two embodiments
The ‘890 patent discloses numerous embodiments. If you would like to see all of the other cool stuff that may come to fruition one day, Click here to read the entire 10,178,890 patent.
What are your thoughts on Nike’s patented invention? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think!
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Disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. It is only for educational or entertainment purposes only. Please do not use the article or contents of the article without permission. For legal advice and questions, please contact registered Patent Attorney Vincent LoTempio.