Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Runsafer: Smart technology helps runners

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in collaboration with five partners are developing a specialized running shoe in the EU Project RUNSAFER Sensors and microelectronics integrated into the sole of the shoe measure the biomechanical data of the athlete and evaluate the runner’s form with the help of measurements in real time. The running shoe medically evaluates and monitors training while jogging. The runner is informed of incorrect foot position, asymmetric loading, or signs of exhaustion or overload. A Smartphone app evaluates the data in a split second with the help of specialized algorithms and gives the athlete feedback on training performance. If necessary, the app makes suggestions about running form or the training routine. In addition, the measured values are transferred during the run from the Smartphone to a website for further processing, evaluation, and display. A customized training program can be set up based on this data with personalized perform- ance goals that are constantly updated. A prototype of the running shoe is already done, as is the cell phone app. The researchers are presently working on a still smaller version of the microelectronics and sensors. The high- tech shoe should be available for sale by the beginning of 2015 and will be available through New Millenium Sports SL

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