Monday, March 03, 2014
GPS Shoes : the nana technology smart shoe
Andrew Carle is an assistant professor at George Mason University and a consultant on senior housing issues. He is always on the look out for new technology to improve the lives of the elderly. He came across a shoe with a Global Positioning System device embedded in the sole to help parents concerned about their kids disappearing amd thought the same technology could be used for shoes for senior citizens. After collaborating with GTX Corp., a new prototype GPS-equipped shoe was developed and in 2012 a Swedish science museum named the shoe as one of the “Top 100 Innovations of Mankind,” alongside the telephone and the Internet. Now, Carle and GTX are taking their nana technology a step further. They’ve developed insoles with an embedded GPS device so that the technology can be easily moved between pairs of shoes. The shoes and the insoles use cellphone technology. Family members with a smartphone can determine the shoes’ location by calling them. The “shoe” texts back with a Google map pinpointing them. In addition, family members can set up a “geofence” perimeter of any distance, and the application sends an alert any time the shoes go beyond the perimeter. The “Smart Soles” are being tested by groups that work with dementia patients, GPS shoes could be a lifesaver for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia patients while easing caregivers’ fears they will wander away.