It seems like everything is “smart” these days – what used to be just smartphones now includes most things in your house and car.
Smart Shoes Coming From Under Armour & Samsung
The IoFit, Backed By Samsung
One of the things that has never been properly converted to the “smart” realm is shows. Samsung supported startup Salted Venture (the one that is bringing the shoes along) has decided that this is where the attention needs to turn and are bringing out the IoFit shoe.. Salted Venture’s CEO Jacob Sho said, “There’s so much valuable information coming from our feet, and it’s being wasted.” That is very true!
As a runner, there is more to our feet than the amount of pronation our feet demonstrate. Over time, it is possible to examine this data and use it to correct problems that we have with our feet so as to improve our overall performance. Strangely enough, shoes have created a lot of these problems for us in the first place so it would be good to use shoes to help correct them a bit.
Samsung is supposed to be bringing these shoes to the public’s attention next week at the Mobile World Congress. So far, there are no details on the price and when these will be available but I will definitely be watching these shoes to see how well they work. I love data and while some of it is pretty useless, it is always nice to see what our bodies are doing. My Garmin Fenix 3 and the HRM-Run strap give a lot of that data for vertical oscillation, stride length, cadence, heart rate, performance based upon those points, and more.
Add that together with these shoes and you can extract a lot of data! They are building accelerometers and pressure sensors into the outsoles of the shoe to “measure users’ balance, weight shift, ground contact force and location of COG (Center of Gravity).”
The biggest problem I would have will be the longevity of the shoes. If the sensors fail after 100 miles of use, the expected high-price on these shoes will be even higher since I can get 300-400 miles out of a typical running shoe.
The Gemini 2 From Under Armour
A different kind of smart shoe was just released by Under Armour. This shoe, the Gemini 2, is available for pre-order at the price of $149. That is not unreasonable at all given that top-tier running shoes by all major brands run between $160-$200.
This shoe tracks and stores data that Under Armour says “matters” – time, cadence, duration, distance, and splits. It connects with UA’s MapMyRun for the GPS information. It will store up to 5 workouts between syncs.
The shoe also comes with MapMyRun MVP for 1 year of training plans. That costs $29.99 normally so if it is something that interests you, you can figure that in the cost of the shoe as well to bring that actual cost down.
Finally, the shoe will tell you when you have covered 400 miles and that you need to replace your shoes and the battery will outlast the shoes.
Adidas had a “smart shoe” over 10 years ago but since that time, there really has not been much attention made to making the shoe smart. There have been sensors designed to place in the shoe/insoles to speak to your smartphone app but it should be helpful to have it all in one.
These shoes are different with the type of data they provide. It seems that Under Armour is seeking to replace the need for a watch or phone on your runs. While I like to be disconnected a bit, I hope they enable this to be tracked on their smartband from the shoes. That would be good since I like to know what my data points are when I run.
The other shoe, from the Samsung-backed company, will be more for helping you figure your data for training purposes instead of your regular runs.
What do you think of smart technology helping with your feet?