Sunday, January 25, 2009
Shoe phones: A reality Max!
Agent 86-style phone inside a shoe is no longer a fictional accessory for bumbling secret agents like Maxwell Smart if Flinders University computer scientists have they way. Bioinformatics' boffins first developed their device as an amateur theatre prop but now believe it may have practical application. It now seems the shoe phone might offer extended battery life and could even be used in medical applications to detect falls or other medical emergencies and automatically call for help. The shoe-based platform makes it possible for the device to detect shocks and orientation changes resulting from a fall. This data can be conveyed to alert others. According to experts relaying voice communications via a shoe no different to relaying medical data for remote patient monitoring, such as pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygenation etc. The shoe is an ideal location for housing the electronics required for storing and communicating this type of data. Normal movement can harvest enough energy to to charge the device without relying on batteries. Wearable technologies using advanced electronics, sensors and communication technologies would seem a major step forward to allow individuals to live independently in the home.