According to reports by the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS), a total of 10 million people living in Germany jog on a regular basis. However, running novices often risk injuring their ankle joints, pulling ligaments or even breaking bones when they are running on uneven ground or when they are tired. In an effort to combat these problems, they worked with five partners to develop a hi-tech running shoe with sensors in the sole that measure the bio-mechanical data of the athlete and transmits them through Bluetooth to the jogger’s smartphone. Hence, it evaluates the runner’s form with the help of measurements in real time.
Having been developed through “EU Project RUNSAFER,” the concept involves a high-tech running shoe packed with a micro-controller, a radio frequency (RF) module, accelerometers, GPS sensors and a battery.
The system is a bit similar to the footwear, ADIDAS f50 football boot, and depicts the possibilities of integrating miniaturized electronics with wearable technology to monitor or augment performance.
What makes the system even more convenient is the fact that it allows data to be transferred to a website for further evaluation; allowing users to customize a training program according to their own specific needs and personalized goals.
A prototype of the running shoe has successfully been launched but the team is currently working on developing a smaller version of the system. Spanish shoe and sportswear manufacturer New Millenium Sports SL has partnered with the team and, if everything works out according to plan, will be making the footwear to the commercial in early 2015.