Talking, as I was in my last post, about the Internet of Things, leads me to wearable technology which is already generating incredible amounts of data. Devices such as fitness trackers (for example, the Misfit Shine) are tracking our activity and sleep in fine detail (and making us realize, in the process, just how damn lazy we really are) and this is just scratching the surface of what we can quantify about ourselves.
A new product called Boogio is under development that will be, as far as I know, the first wearable to instrument people’s feet! Yes, this system consists of inserts for your shoes that contain sensors. These sensors provide real-time feedback on fundamental biomechanics including center of balance, foot strike zone, ground contact speed, gait symmetry, and more and communicate with a Windows, iOS, and Android apps over Bluetooth LE.
Current Specifications – Boogio 5.0: ( per foot )
- Bluetooth Smart ( BLE ) nRF51822 SoC ( Nordic Semiconductor ) ARM® Cortex™ M0 CPU, embedded 2.4GHz transceiver
- 10-bit resolution for each force sensor in the array
- 9-Axis Motion Tracking
- Accelerometer --------- (±8 G)
- Gyroscope -------------- (±1000 °/sec)
- Magnetometer --------- (±4800μT full-scale range)
- Micro USB charging
- Lightweight at less than 0.4 oz
- Enough storage and battery life to capture your full day - Charge and synchronize while you sleep
- Smart Filtering Heuristics (SFH) eliminate noise, maximizing battery life and storage
Currently Boogio is only available as a developer kit ($299) and resources include:
- Clearly Documented Bluetooth Generic Attribute (GATT) profile
- iOS example app and source code
- OS X synchronization app
- Windows 10 example app and source code
- Raspberry Pi - (Python) example app and source code
- Online data analysis portal
That’s an impressive collection of sensors and tools. Boogio should prove highly useful in sports training, physical therapy, pediatric rehabilitation, and as a virtual reality input and you can imagine the staggering (pun intended) amount of data Boogio-equipped shoes will create; you’ll have to find somewhere to sock it all away.
Lousy jokes aside, this kind of human quantification technology is going to transform how medicine is practiced, how athletes’ performance is honed, and how we’ll be able to escape into virtual worlds.