1. Chemy JMHT's Avatar

    Nike has filed a patent application for an "athletic activity monitoring device with energy capture." (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)

    Among the latest crop of sometimes peculiar and futuristic patent applications from Nike (NKE), all in the name of getting you pumped for a workout: an "energy harvesting device," an augmented-reality workout buddy, and motivational music streaming.

    Unlike Under Armour (UA) and its dive into fitness trackers this year, Nike's been rather quiet on the wearables front, instead opting to team up with Apple (AAPL) on a Nike-edition Apple (AAPL) Watch.

    But its 60-plus patent-application dump, which the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published Thursday, indicates that the Swoosh is still steadfastly working on wearable technology, particularly items designed to be integrated into workout clothes and footwear — i.e., stuff that not only can be tossed into the washer and dryer, but can actually be recharged in the washer and dryer.

    But Can You Toss Your Fitbit In The Dryer?

    Remembering to charge a battery-powered fitness band (like a Fitbit (FIT), perhaps?) can be a chore, argues Nike in one set of patent applications, and can lead to inconsistent use, reducing its efficacy.

    Its solution? An "athletic activity monitoring device with energy capture," which wouldn't necessarily need batteries to run. Just toss it in the dryer, and ta-da! — your wearable shirt is all powered up.

    "In one example, one or more energy harvesting devices may be incorporated into an item of athletic apparel of a user, and such that heat energy may be stored as the item of athletic apparel is laundered," says one application filing. "This heat energy may subsequently be used to generate electrical energy using one or more thermoelectric generator modules."

    Augmented Reality, Music To Get You Pumped

    Another Nike patent application published Thursday relates to an augmented-reality system in which a user's performance would be "displayed during a future exercise routine to motivate the user to improve performance during their next workout" — again, in the interest of motivating exercisers and making working out less of a "chore."

    Yet another application points to a way for a wearable to link to a training module, presumably app-based, to use current athletic activity levels — like heart rate, speed, even stride — to determine what kind of music to play next.

    "If the user is feeling mellow, the system may select slower-paced songs. If, on the other hand, the user is feeling upbeat, the system may select faster-paced (e.g., more beats per minute) songs," according to the filing.

    Such a system might even try to dangle a carrot in front of you, even if you're not feeling up to working out more.

    "The training module may, at a particular time interval of the workout, play a high-tempo audio track, regardless of the user's identified desired activity level to motivate the user to run longer or faster," it said.

    Why Patents Matter

    The global sportswear titan is on track to be granted 700 patents this year, up from about 500 a year for the last three years, according to recent research from Macquarie. By contrast, Under Armour racked up just 19 patents in 2014 and 20 in 2015.

    And innovation and investment in R&D can arguably translate to return on equity.

    In analyzing patent activity from Nike and its annualized ROE performance, "we tend to see somewhat of a consistent pattern between ROE performance and the increase in the number of patents granted," wrote Macquarie analyst Lauren Vasilescu on Nov. 14.

    IBD'S TAKE: Nike has long been active in the patent-filing space. In fact, it has more U.S. patents than a defense contractor making stealth jets, a pharma developing cancer-fighting drugs, and an auto giant working on self-driving cars: "Why Nike Has More Patents Than Lockheed, Ford And Pfizer."
    * Even when the article keeps going, because it wasn't really related to VR and AR I didn't post it here, but in the link bellow can be accessed:

    Nike Seeks 'Energy Harvesting,' Augmented-Reality Patents | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis - IBD
    12-20-2016 01:00 AM
  2. pkcable's Avatar
    hmm, very interesting! I really like the idea of smart clothing and wearable tech!
    12-20-2016 11:52 AM
  3. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    hmm, very interesting! I really like the idea of smart clothing and wearable tech!
    Well that idea has been here for some time, but not oriented to augmented reality, so it could be the next step to new technologies and ideas

    Another interesting thing is the developing the flexible sensors and wiring to use in fabrics.
    12-23-2016 02:31 PM

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