On the Path to Intelligent Footwear
Nov 01, 2016
Smart shoes are leading the way to intelligent, IoT connected, apparel.
What can a smart shoe do for you?
HyperAdapt 1.0 shoes from Nike with self-tightening laces (not unlike Marty McFly's in Back to the Future II) are being released this month in the United States. The shoes automatically tighten the laces when a pressure sensor in the heel is engaged. There are buttons on the side to personalize your fit. The future may be shoes that can make swift adjustments in the fit, to adapt on the fly to different situations, automatically tightening if you are running, and letting loose when you sit down.
With smart shoe insoles from Lechal, you can enter a destination on a connected smart phone and your GPS enabled shoes will gently vibrate, letting you know which way to go while walking or cycling. This could be a big help if you are visiting an unfamiliar city for work or on vacation. It can also assist people that are visually-challenged. Not just for navigation, these smart soles can track your steps and distance to calculate calories burned. The easily removable pods are recharged in a docking station.
The smart golf shoes from IOFIT, measure your balance and weight shift while swinging a club, and feed this information to your phone for instant analysis.
Smart sole inserts and shoes that can track your child or loved one with autism or dementia are a great application for smart shoes.
Smart shoes are making strides to be firmly planted in the IoT, and a top contender in future fashion.
What is the Future of Footwear?
Future shoes might have these features:
3D printed at home
Custom fit (each foot is scanned)
Self-cleaning material on top (uppers)
Color changing capability
The texture of the sole adapts to the environment (slick for bowling, non-slip for sailing)
Flip-flops don't make noise when you walk (my wish)
Smart Shoe Resources
Black Converse sneakers by Brooke Fishwick [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Love laces image by George Hodan via PublicDomainPictures
Chair by Gergely Hideg via Flickr
Bookshelf by By Jelizawjeta P. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons