The next wearables hopeful is getting in step — literally.
Samsung shares the news that a new shoe-based form of wearable tech called IOFIT will be on display at this year's Mobile World Congress. First developed at Samsung's C-Lab incubator, IOFIT — which, while still backed by Samsung, is now in the hands of the startup Salted Venture — is a smart shoe that relies upon pressure sensors and an integrated coaching app to improve the wearer's balance and body posture in a variety of fitness and sporting activities.
“There’s so much valuable information coming from our feet, and it’s being wasted,” Jacob Cho, CEO of Salted Venture, commented in a Samsung news release. “So, we wanted to make use of this data and utilize it to provide value to people. That was the driving force behind IOFIT.”
According to IOFIT's creators, the inspiration for the technology was, in part, born of what they perceived to be limitations of current wearables on the market, including smartwatches, fitness trackers and even existing smart shoes.
“They’re tracking and throwing around all these data points and suggesting problems but not providing a solution to the problem,” said Cho. “The few devices that have been able to offer a solution are trying to serve as an alternative to training with a coach and attempting to build something greater than a human-to-human experience.”
The coaching and analysis software integrated with IOFIT allows coaches (or trainers and the like) to leave feedback for the user based on their performances and compare saved videos.
“We want to be a platform and a coaching tool for people to use. It’s an add-on to the interactive experience between people,” Sehee Lee, Salted Venture's COO and UX planner, said in a statement. “You can’t outweigh the benefits that come from a real human-to-human interactive experience.”