If any of you know me at all from reading this blog, or just know me personally, you know that I'm not one for gadgets, gimmicks, or fads. I make an effort to only promote a product if I genuinely see benefit to it. If asked by friends and family about certain exercise plans and the like I will always give my honest opinion. The reason I'm telling you this now is because I'm about to talk about a product that seems like a gimmicky gadget at first glance, but if the project gets off the ground I can see huge benefits.
The product is called Sensoria smart socks and was created by former Microsoft employee Mark Esposito. You can read more about how he came up with it and that jazz by clicking on this link
There's also this video that kind of explains the technology and production of the socks. Fair warning, it is a promotional video and they are looking for contributions to get the project of the ground and on to the market. If it so becomes you then by all means follow through to their website and donate. This isn't a sponsored post or anything, I get no compensation for any action on the readers part.
Ok, so I understand that not all of you will want to watch the video or will have clicked the link to read the article about the socks, so I"ll just give you the skinny on them. Basically, it's a pari of sucks that gives you feedback about your running/walking performance. It tells you cadence, pattern, how your foot falls, hell it probably even cooks you breakfast.
The physical therapist in me can see huge potential in such a product. as it stands now (or at least in my experience) gait analysis with this type of feedback requires bulky equipment and a fairly short distance with force plates, mat, or an elaborate set up with a treadmill. You're also very conscious of the way that you walk when someone is watching you. Imagine if you could get your patient to don a pair of socks for a week, go about their daily routine and you receiving information about their gait during they time between appointments? I think that would be very useful. Couple this with in the clinic observation and you would be able UNSTOPPABLE. That may be a bit overzealous, but you get my point.
I tell you one thing, I would have loved to have a pair of these in my undergraduate days. Doing research with a 12inx12in force plate is difficult when you're trying to get a participant jump up and down and land directly on it every time. The socks would have eliminated that problem.
What do you think? Can you see any other applications for the product? Do you see it being successful?