We live in a hands-free society. Especially when it comes to using electronic devices, we want our hands to be free to do other tasks. How would you like it to use your feet instead of your hands to control the slide show during a presentation? What about using your feet to control the music you hear as you walk? This can be achieved with the SENSEable shoes, a technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University.

What Exactly are the SENSEable Shoes?

By now, you've probably heard all about these shoes that are sweeping the nation by storm but you are likely confused as to what they really are. Not to worry! We will present you with everything you need to know regarding these shoes.

Shoes with sensors are exactly like what they sound like: they use the latest advances in technology to allow you to control digital devices. The sensing mechanism located within the shoes is completely hands-free which makes it both convenient and useful for on the go lifestyles. The technology within these shoes also allows you to interact with the environment without ever having to lift a finger, press a button, or enter a string of commands. In short, they're foot computers.

How Do They Work?

The sensors in these shoes are incredibly sensitive and smart. They are capable of recognizing low-level activity by measuring the wearer's weight distribution in the feet. Embedded in the insole of the shoes are twelve Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) sensors. There are tons of sensors within these shoes that pick up and record the measured weight distribution then transmit the data to be identified. These sensing devices also feature a multi-directional gesture that reads data with nearly 100% accuracy so you don't ever have to worry about the information being inaccurate. In addition by understanding the gestures of the wearer's foot and the activity being performed, the shoes can provide a non-intrusive yet reliable and readily available means of input.

So in short, your shoes will use the weight distribution of your feet to determine what activity you are performing. Neat huh?

What Activities are the Shoes Capable of Understanding?

There are around 18 different activities that these shoes can pick up on. Like mentioned before, they are all low-key activity but include the following:

  1. Sitting
  2. Standing
  3. Climbing stairs
  4. Stretching
  5. Running
  6. Jumping
  7. Turning
  8. Carrying weight (on the back or arms)
  9. Extending one leg at a time
  10. Leaning side to side

In short, I think these shoes are incredibly useful. They record data without the trouble of you having to stop and enter information manually. They are the ultimate piece of hands and eye free technology that you can put on and forget about. They are comfortable, light-weight, and capable of improving your overall fitness and health by showing you where you distribute weight in your feet. This is particularly useful for people who suffer constantly from foot pain and is a far better solution than Dr. Scholl's foot pads that only offer temporary relief rather than fixing the problem. The shoes are also great for anyone who is interested in technology and learning their body better.