A newly granted Apple (s aapl) patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday and uncovered by Patently Apple describes a system through which your clothing could talk to your iPhone to help it create tailored workouts that know you better than you know yourself.
The system in the patent seems to build off the existing tech in the Nike+ (s nke) workout tracking system that is currently built into some iPods and iOS devices. It goes further than the existing tech, however, thanks to additional sensors, which gather a lot more information than the basic Nike+ sensor, including details about how your foot falls during a running stride, and relay that info back to a central database that tracks lifetime garment usage.
Apple also talks about how the system could be used in more than just sneakers, such as in garments like shirts and shorts, in order to make it usable for additional activities like skiing, skating or swimming. Sophisticated sensors would provide enough feedback to help a receiver device, like an iPhone, provide the best possible training regimen or workout routine to users in order to help them reach the next level or meet current fitness goals.
Apple is rumored to be working on wearable devices, according to a recent New York Times report, and devices that track a user’s fitness, activity and other personal data are becoming a hot commodity, as we saw with the popular though ultimately flawed Jawbone UP and as Kevin saw at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Providing a system where the very clothes you wear are also the data-gathering components of a whole-body monitoring system would definitely help Apple stay on top of this trend.