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VR Interfaces: Intelligent Shoe Sensors


Overview of Intelligent Shoe Sensors
Created by Martin Schepers of the University of Twente, in The Netherlands, these intelligent shoe sensors are spread out over the surface of the shoe. Two at the back, two at the front. Evenly spread like this, the pressure sensors detect the precise angling and weight distribution of the foot with every step. Under the sole, a pair of accelerometers at right angles track the motion of the foot itself, building up a complete picture of the speed, direction and pressure projected by that foot.

The same set-up on the other foot, completes the locomotion map. Designed as a diagnostic aid for those who have difficulty in walking, the shoes also show potential for a mirror world locomotion device, as they track the person's feet so completely.

When it comes to their original purpose, that of diagnosing walking issues, the shoes are a common sense replacement for embedded pressure plate sensors, used normally. The patient is instructed on where to walk, and has to repeat the pacing until they hit the plate square on. This gives a distorted view of their gait, and weight distribution. It also takes some considerable time.

By attaching to the feet directly instead, the shoes record every step naturally, over and over. What previously took half a day, now takes 20 minutes or less.

Xsens Technologies B.V., has taken up the shoes for further commercial development and deployment. They are not yet on the market.

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