Samsung’s Creative Lab (C-Lab) has unveiled it has been working on a pair of smart shoes that are designed to deliver real time coaching for golf and fitness.
The IOFIT shoes are actually being built by Salted Venture, a spin-off startup from Samsung’s experimental lab.
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Designed for coaches and individuals, each shoe is packed with sensors in the outsole so there’s no impact on the fit or comfort. That’s also where you’ll find the Bluetooth transmitter to send tracking data wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet.
Those motion and pressure sensors are able to measure force at multiple points, which combine to determine aspects like balance, weight shift, location of centre of gravity, ground contact force and more.
For both shoes, users will be able to see data on step count, duration and distance. In real time, you’ll also be able to see more complex metrics like weight shift, feet pressure map, ground contact force and feet tempo.
If you grab the golf shoe, there’s support for video comparisons and coaching software letting you see a summary of swing form, along with recommendations of customised training videos to give you a helping hand.
The washable smart shoes should offer around 7 – 10 days battery life with support for wireless charging. The built-in battery also knows when the shoes are not in use to help preserve battery life.
Samsung’s secretive lab has clearly been busy, having already unveiled it’s first collection of experimental devices at CES earlier this year. That’s where we got to see the Rink motion controller for the Samsung Gear VR, the TipTalk smartwatch strap and the Welt smart belt.
Smartening up the shoe is becoming a bit of a wearable trend in 2016 with US sports giant Under Armour having already launched its Speedform Gemini 2 connected running shoes, while Nike recently filed a patent for a smart shoe.
If you’re wondering why balance is such a big deal for gym workouts and going for a round of golf, Jacob Cho, CEO of Salted Venture breaks down its significance.
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“Balance is an essential aspect of all fitness workouts and golf swing mechanism,” Cho said. “Without it, there is greater exposure to injury and wasteful energy consumption, making fitness workouts a lot less effective and dangerous. For golf, proper balance and weight shift is crucial to generate club head speed and power. We wanted to solve this problem not just with our guts, but with actual data telling us how we are performing.”
The IOFIT fitness and golf shoes are going to be shown off at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona next week. The IOFIT golf shoes will be priced at $259, which will be discounted down to $199 from 22nd Feb to the 10th March. The fitness shoe comes in a little cheaper at $199 with a similar discount during the same period letting you have them for $149.
A roadmap featured on the company’s brochure suggests the shoes will be given to beta testers in March with a Kickstarter campaign pencilled in for July 2016.