Are we really ready for smart socks?

The system can measure weight distribution and running style as well as steps taken or distance travelled. — AFP pic
The system can measure weight distribution and running style as well as steps taken or distance travelled. — AFP pic

WASHINGTON , Dec 18 — Heapsylon seems to think so and is getting ready to launch its Sensoria Fitness Socks, which can do everything a fitness tracker can do and more.

 

The socks in question, which are packed full of sensors but can thankfully be tossed in the washing machine after a heavy workout, can count steps, speed, calories, altitude and distance. So far, like so FitBit or Nike Fuel Band.

However, what the smart footwear offers that the growing raft of existing fitness trackers can't is real-time information on cadence, foot landing technique and weight distribution on the foot, whether walking or running.

Rather than simply capture and display the information, the system is proactive, able to spot potentially injury-causing running styles and offer audio coaching tips to correct and inform technique.

The socks communicate with a Bluetooth-enabled ‘anklet' which clips to the top of a sock (you choose which one) and relays the information to a smartphone, via a dedicated app.

Although the system is still officially in the prototype stage, the Sensoria Fitness Socks are already available to pre-order for US$199 ahead of their official launch in March 2014. The introductory price includes four pairs of socks, an anklet in a choice of colours and the app.

Being able to track and analyse gait and weight distribution will no doubt appeal to serious runners out there. However, wearing the anklet could interfere with technique as it's much larger than, say, a wrist-worn Jawbone Up or Nike FuelBand.

Heapsylon says it is working to refine the anklet's design and size and will continue to make improvements after the smart socks launch. — AFP-Relaxnews

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