Verily Life Sciences is working on making smart shoes that can track a person’s weight, how they move, and even if they fall.
The organization in question is a department of the international conglomerate known as Alphabet, which is also the parent firm of Google. Verily made the announcement earlier this month that its Study Watch has been granted limited approval from the FDA for its on-demand electrocardiogram functionality. Since it was first shown to the public in 2017, the timepiece has been put to use in a number of clinical investigations.
Additionally, Verily is working on a diverse selection of additional health-related hardware initiatives. This includes smart contact lenses and an intelligent spoon that makes it easier for people who have trouble moving around to eat.
According to a report by CNBC, the company is now demonstrating a prototype of a smart shoe. The footwear is able to measure movement and weight, and it can also determine if you have fallen.
The concept of detecting falls is not brand new. The most well-known example of this is that Apple has included the capability in its Series 4 watch. A person can trip, slip, or fall in a number of different ways, and Apple’s device can recognize a number of these different ways depending on the trajectory of your wrist and the impact acceleration. The watch will then inquire as to whether or not you are in danger and provide you with the option to call for help.
It makes perfect sense for Verily to concentrate on a function that detects falls. The company does not design any of its products with activity tracking in mind, and this includes the shoes. Instead, they would be geared toward the generation of Baby Boomers as well as those who struggle with mobility limitations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that falls are the leading cause of both injuries and fatalities from injuries among people aged 65 and older in the United States.
In a similar vein, the function for monitoring one’s weight would focus less on physical fitness and more on supplying essential medical data. One of the symptoms of congestive heart failure is rapid weight gain, and the shoes’ primary objective would be to detect this symptom. The end goal here is to spot problems before they have a chance to escalate into more significant difficulties. However, this would imply that the user would be required to wear the same pair of shoes each and every day, which is not particularly practical.
It is far too soon to determine whether or not Verily’s newest endeavor will become a functioning product in the real world. According to CNBC, the company is actively searching for business partners that would be interested in assisting them in bringing the shoes to market.