Smart golf shoes to improve wearer's skills launched on Kickstarter

A smart shoe design that shows golf players how to improve their game in real time has been launched on Kickstarter.

The smart shoes, developed by South Korean firm IOFIT (a spin-off from Samsung) are fitted with sensors in the outsole measuring the distribution of pressure and weight and how that changes in time. The data is wirelessly sent to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app analyses the data and provides suggestions to the player as to how they can improve their swing to achieve better results.

The shoes exceeded the original crowd-funding target of $30,000 within three days.

IOFIT partnered with golf equipment manufacturer PING to develop the shoe, which comes in multiple sizes and can support up to 150kg of weight.

The accompanying app will be equipped with a functionality that will allow golfers to compare their techniques against each other based on the multiple parameters measured by the shoes. These include pressure distribution, center of pressure, as well as left-right and front-back balance.

The suggested improvements may include correcting the player’s posture, a better way of shifting weight from one leg to the other or modifying the way in which the player hits the ball.

“We began working on this project when one of our founders, who used to suffer from serious back pain, realised the absolute importance of physical balance and how it all starts from your feet,” the company wrote on its Kickstarter page.

“Many people regarded smart shoes to be impossible and, not surprisingly, we went through long periods of trial-and-error in developing our product.”

The firm says the shoes provide hobby players with the same amount of insight as professional golfers get with much more sophisticated technology.

Coaches can download data from the shoes remotely and send instructions to their students from wherever they are, using the app’s voice-over function and drawing tools.

“Starting with golf, our company’s vision is to make every shoe in the world smart to bring change across vast spectrum of industries including rehabilitation, entertainment and our daily lifestyle,” IOFIT wrote.

The shoes are designed to be lightweight, waterproof and breathable to provide optimum comfort to the wearer - important considerations, given that they will be worn outdoors, for extended periods, in all weather conditions.

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