Friday, August 09, 2013
Vibram Smart Concept Sole gives footwear headlights
The Vibram Smart Concept Sole has a remote controlled LED lighting system that allows the soles to illuminate the ground ahead. The integrated LEDs shine a diffuse array of light on the ground ahead, allowing the user to see where they're going in the dark while still maintaining a low profile. The LEDs have three brightness settings, and a flashing red LED tail light to increase wearer visibility for activities like running at night. Vibram anticipates the soles in future footwear to be embedded with sensors to warn the wearer of invisible environmental hazards. A gas sensor would monitor for hazardous gases, something that could be useful in firefighting and law enforcement, while a proximity sensor would monitor for upcoming obstacles in scenarios such as dark, unfamiliar territory and smoke-filled buildings. Finally, a temperature sensor would warn of high temperature levels. The prototypes were displayed at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, Utah.