These shoes are made for talking ... to your phone

May 13, 2009 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
In this Jan. 12, 2009 file photo, a jogger runs near downtown Houston. ESoles Inc., a startup in Scottsdale, Ariz. which makes custom insoles for athletic shoes, has created prototype insoles with pressure sensors that relay their information wirelessly to a nearby cell phone. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP) -- A startup is working on a product that can tell you exactly what it's like to walk a mile in someone else's shoes - because the insoles record every touch of pressure.

ESoles Inc., which makes custom insoles for athletic shoes, has created prototype insoles with pressure sensors that relay their information wirelessly to a nearby . Then an application on the phone can tell the wearer how much pressure he or she is applying in 11 different zones of each sole.

The system has been used to analyze the technique of the U.S. Olympic BMX team, helping them figure out how to apply maximum power to the bicycle pedals out of the gate, said Glen Hinshaw, founder of in Scottsdale, Ariz.-based eSoles and a former professional cyclist.

The system can also analyze a golf swing or skiing posture, Hinshaw said.

Sports aren't the only application - the insoles can work in games. ESoles is trying a jump rope game, in which the phone screen shows a swinging rope, and users have to time their jumps to it.

"If you leave one leg on the ground and you're only lifting the other foot, the jump rope stops, because it's not clearing your foot," Hinshaw said.

Nintendo Co. makes a balance board accessory for its Wii game console that senses the force from the user's feet. ESoles' sensing insoles would essentially do the same thing, but without tying the user to an immobile board.

Hinshaw also envisions medical uses - perhaps for warning diabetes patients who have lost feeling in their feet that they risk injury from too much .

Hinshaw said the company plans to make the insoles available in a limited trial version in July, then take them fully commercial late this year. The initial price for the sensors would be about $300, but he hopes to bring the price under $50.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Chairless Chair solution offered as leg exoskeleton for work

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Foot pain: Custom-made insoles offer relief

Jul 16, 2008

Custom-made insoles known as foot orthoses can reduce foot pain caused by arthritis, overly prominent big toe joints and highly arched feet, a new systematic review shows.

Global sales of Nintendo's Wii top 50 million

Mar 26, 2009

(AP) -- Japanese game maker Nintendo Co. said Thursday global sales of its popular Wii video game console have topped 50 million since it went on sale worldwide in late 2006.

Shoe fit important in exercise program

Dec 30, 2006

Anyone listing getting in shape as a 2007 goal should start with a properly fitted pair of shoes, health experts at Texas A&M University said.

Recommended for you

Giant tablets aimed at families

Aug 20, 2014

Costing a little more than an iPad but standing more than twice as tall, a new pair of giant tablets wants families to share cozier group experiences with technology.

Myo armband and smartglasses set for deskless workplace

Aug 20, 2014

Thalmic Labs, Canada-based makers of the Myo armband, has announced the integration of Myo with smartglasses, with the partnership help of a number of companies pairing the Myo with their products. The gesture-control ...

Sharp Aquos Crystal phone: Where's the bezel?

Aug 18, 2014

Just when you thought a fashionable gadget must be somewhat thin, Sharp is going to charm the smartphone fashion-conscious with a crazily thin phone, and it is arriving in the US quite soon. Gorgeous. Cool. ...

User comments : 0