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Apple's latest: The smart shoe
APPLE HAS applied
According to Apple Insider, it would sense when it's wearing out and an alarm would go off telling the wearer that the shoe is no longer stable.
So, essentially, the purpose of the Apple iShoe would be to tell you it's time to buy new iShoes.
Shoe stability is important, after all. And who wants to keep looking at them to see if the soles are OK?
This would be a nice feature to have if one is training for a marathon
Most of us probably would get more value out of an iCouch that warned us when we need to sit on the other end so it wears evenly.
Or maybe an iSock that says: "Hey, buddy, your feet smell! Wash me!"
The "smart shoe" patent news probably had nothing to do with the fact that the company's stock continued to take a nose dive this week and that Exxon passed it as the world's most highly valued company.
But bringing to mind '60s images of bumbling TV secret agent Maxwell Smart and his shoe phone may not be helping at a time when investors and consumers are wondering if Apple's days as an engine of innovation have sputtered out.
It's easy to make fun of possibilities like the iShoe and the iWatch. The latter would, if it becomes a reality, bring the features of the iPhone al the way from users' pockets to their wrists via Bluetooth.
But concerns about Apple's future are probably overblown. Samsung smartphones outsold the iPhone in the fourth quarter of last year, but it may also hit a wall soon as the U.S. market seems to be saturated.
And the fact that loyalty to the Apple brand is so strong is the reason why ideas like the iShoe get any attention at all.
So the idea of smart shoes probably shouldn't cause smart investors to run.
Michael Zitz: 540/846-5163