Apple wants to tie your shoes to your clothes with DRM

Ars examines Apple's recent patent and its DRM implications:

"If you're a Nike+iPod Sport Kit fan, you may eventually find yourself being restricted to using it with Nike-branded sportswear, thanks to a recently-published Apple patent. The patent, filed for in March of 2007 and published last week, describes a "Smart Garment" that would allow a gadget to authenticate to a specific garment-whether that garment is shoes, pants, or a jacket. When the garment is authenticated, however, unapproved garments would be blocked from being able to use the device.

In this patent, Apple makes no attempt to hide the fact that it's essentially an attempt to enforce something like DRM on the pairing of clothing with technology. The company specifically cites the Nike+iPod system as an example of a system that works with a specially-made shoe: Nike+ shoes that have a little crevice cut out under the sole that allows you to place the transmitter inside the shoe, which wirelessly sends data to your iPod about your walk or run. "However, some people have taken it upon themselves to remove the sensor from the special pocket of the Nike+.TM. shoe and place it at inappropriate locations (shoelaces, for example) or place it on non-Nike+.TM. model shoes," writes Apple."

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