Sensoria Fitness Socks
The founders of Sensoria, Inc. left their jobs at Microsoft’s Xbox division to pursue their long-cherished dream, the dream of building a company of their own. They believed that the next big thing in the computing arena will be the computers that are embedded in our everyday wear, and their Sensoria Fitness Socks are no exception. The company primarily develops wearable sports technology, focusing on the part of our body which remains under pressure most of the time but largely ignored by the tech companies – our feet. What we get are perfectly normal looking socks that are provided with pure textile sensors that the user can’t feel at all.
The company initially tried to develop the fitness socks by using nanotechnology, but the technology no longer worked perfectly after washing. Now, the socks are connected to a detachable Bluetooth anklet. The anklet provides accurate information about the wearer’s walking speed, burned calories, current altitude, distance and steps. It will also provide information about advanced things like walking rhythm, weight distribution, foot landing techniques, etc. By using this information, users will be able to identify injury-prone, incorrect running styles before they become a problem. The accompanying app is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices. The app will instruct you about the correct running techniques through real-time audio cues. The fitness socks will help you in achieving goals, reducing bad habits and improving your overall performance.
It is possible to connect multiple smart garments with the Sensoria Fitness app. The app will collect data wirelessly and display them in an actionable form. It will help you in detecting whether you are landing on your heels or going off-rhythm. Heapslyon’s proprietary e-textile sensors will detect any such activity and will send the data to the app instantly. The app will then guide you through real time audio cues in order to get over these issues. When using the app, you won’t have to guess steps or be satisfied with vague calorie counts. Rather, the app will provide you with absolutely correct information about the steps you have taken, burnt calories, running pace, rhythm, distance and lots of other things.
Your data is also available in the centralized Sensoria dashboard. You will find customized graphs, intuitive analytics and detailed charts about your activities there. It will provide you with a complete overview of your training. You can compare the activities with your past records, or share the activities with Facebook friends, your trainer or running partners. The accumulated data can also be used for medical purposes. The pure fabric sensors used in the smart socks can be really useful for fall detection or any type of weaknesses in elderly people.
The sensing devices are actually accelerometers, which judge your movements and then send the information back to the smartphone app. The company is currently working with shoe-manufacturing companies like Vivobarefoot and the globally recognized biomechanics expert Less Saxby. By using their expertise, Heapslyon aims at making accessories that will complement the natural shape of the foot. The company has teamed up with Google Glass to provide real-time visual feedback. That means, instead of using the smartphone app, you will be able to view the detailed information while you are running. A Software Development Kit (SDK) is also available for interested developers. Along with the smart accessories, the SDK package includes access to the developer portal, cloud infrastructure, bug reports and technical support.
One of the biggest challenges fitness enthusiasts or athletes face in improving performance or losing weight is to find the perfect tool for getting accurate information about their workouts. Heapslyon’s smart socks can be a very useful tool for that purpose. While it is estimated that about 60% of the runners will face some kind of injuries this year, using the Fitness socks can play an important role in identifying most of these injuries in advance and preventing them. The potential market is very lucrative for Heapslyon. According to the Sports and Fitness Association, about 30 million Americans run at least 50 days per year. Heapslyon also found out that nearly 17 million take part in marathons and other running competitions every year. The company hopes their smart socks will be an invaluable tool for these people.
During their crowdfunding event, the company raised a lot more than their expectations. This huge public interest provided them with new ideas for applications and generated interest among business, technology and sports-specific industries. The company believes that the instant alert and data highlighting system set it apart from other wearable technology. By having sensors directly on the feet, the socks are capable of providing better information and that is their selling point. No other device is capable of detecting whether your balance shifting is incorrect, your heel is striking, or you are running out of rhythm. For their smart socks, the company has been named as an Honoree in the 2015 CES Innovation Awards and their Fitness Socks have been named as our top pick for iReviews 2015 best smart apparel.
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