Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences arm, is reportedly working on a pair of smart shoes that track movement, weight, and detect falls.
Per a report from CNBC’s Christina Farr, the company has already built a design prototype, which it hopes will lure a partner to help Verily bring the smart shoes to market.
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The shoes will have sensors capable of monitoring weight changes in the wearer. The report speculates this could be used to detect a sudden weight gain, which can be indicative of the body retaining fluid, a symptom of congestive heart failure.
Verily is also looking to embed fall-detection technology, which could be a useful feature for the elderly especially. Apple recently put similar tech into the Apple Watch Series 4.
We’ve seen a few smart shoes and socks from companies like Under Armour and Sensoria, but to date most of them have focused on running and fitness. Startup Siren has also made a pair of socks that alert diabetics when they might have a foot injury.
Verily needs a good partner to make this work. From the report it sounds like these shoes could well be a product aimed at seniors, which may play a part in who Verily teams up with. It needs a manufacturer, but it also needs the right marketer.
It won’t be the first partnership Google’s sister company has sparked up. It’s currently working with Dexcom on miniaturized glucose monitors, and last year teamed up with Wallgreens to lower the cost of care for chronic conditions.
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