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Flexpoint flags M2M sports shoe to lessen risk of injury

Iain Morris
July 23, 2014
 
A new sports shoe could provide information about the way its wearer moves that helps to prevent serious and potentially career-threatening injuries.

Developed by Flexpoint Sensor Systems (South Draper, UT, USA), the shoe includes a series of so-called “bend sensors” that provide data about a user’s balance, running technique and weight transfer.

The shoe is described as a working prototype in a statement from Flexpoint but is likely to hold appeal for athletes participating in a variety of sports, and could even attract interest among mass-market fitness enthusiasts.

Flexpoint’s system includes various electronics and software and provides real-time analysis about the performance of an individual wearing the shoe.

Because of the sensors’ fast response time, the technology can provide information on, say, the time differentials between heel and toe strike.

Other metrics like cadence, ground contact time, the time the foot is not in contact with the ground and information critical to training can also be measured for later review and analysis.

Flexpoint says an insert pad using its patented bend sensor technology and featuring several sensors is located within the shoe, but the pad can be made into different sizes that could either be fitted into existing shoes or manufactured and sized for new ones.

The sensor comes with a “single layer construction” so that sensors cannot be damaged or degraded by dust, dirt or other particulates.

The company also claims that moisture and immersion in mud, water and a range of other chemicals will not affect the sensors’ performance.

"We are excited to complete this important milestone for the shoe,” said Clark Mower, Flexpoint’s president. “The product has a unique set of electronics that will give us the capability of reporting, in a variety of sports, on almost any metric that is desirable for training.”

“Balance, weight transfer and positioning are critical in most sports performance and prevention of sports injuries,” he added. “The prototypes clearly demonstrate the ability to provide this and other information.”

Mower says he expects the product to become widely available in 2015.
 
 
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