Apple Patents DRM For Pairing Only Official Nike Shoes With Nike+ Sensor

Apple Patents DRM For Pairing Only Official Nike Shoes With Nike+ Sensor
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Everyone knows joggers can make the worst criminals–look at them, all smug with their fitness, rubbing it in your face on the sidewalk in front of your house as they make a quick and effortless getaway from whatever malfeasance they’ve just hoisted on an innocent and unsuspecting car-preffering public. And the intellectual property violations? Boy, don’t get me started. But now those degenerates may be getting what’s been coming–the days of pairing Nike+ with shoes other than those made by Nike may be numbered, if a recent Apple patent has anything to say about it.

Filed last year and published only in the last few days, the patent frames the problem as such:

In order to accommodate the sensor and provide appropriate data to the iPod nano., the shoe must be a Nike+ model with a special pocket in which to place the sensor. However, some people have taken it upon themselves to remove the sensor from the special pocket of the Nike+ shoe and place it at inappropriate locations (shoelaces, for example) or place it on non-Nike+ model shoes.

Yes, someone has taken it upon themselves to use the US$29 Sport Kit’s sensor in shoes other than those with a tiny pouch specifically engineered by Nike to be the only way to get accurate data from the sensor. So this obviously calls for action:

A method of electronically pairing a sensor and a garment, comprising:(a) establishing a communication link between the sensor and the garment; (b) determining if the garment is an authorised garment; and(c) electronically pairing the garment and the sensor.

Granted, the system also calls for some useful two-way communication between your shoes and the Nike+ software, including potential wear notifications when your toe is about to jump out of your kicks, if you didn’t know already. But as is SOP for patent filings, all bases are covered, which means that when our smart auto-drying jackets have to phone home to a Auto-Drying Jacket Genuine Advantage server before firing up after we’ve taken a dip in the clock tower reflecting pool, we can all thank Apple, who just made two cents off of the transaction. [US Patent Filing via Ars Technica via BBG]