In the wake of a rash of deaths, health advocates are calling on shoe makers to include features like a built-in accelerometer to help track and alert users when a foot or ankle injury occurs.
The shoes can be used to help users get back on their feet quickly, reduce injuries, and prevent infections.
“We’ve been saying this for a while: If we can get people back to walking, we can make them healthier,” said Dr. Joseph T. O’Donnell, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a co-founder of the National Foot & Ankle Association.
“It’s a common sense thing to do, and it can be done,” O’Brien said.
The industry’s response is to update their platform’s built-ins to include sensors that are specifically designed to be worn by people who don’t already have a smartwatch, such as fitness trackers, or wearables like Jawbone UP.
Some platform shoes will also include a feature that will notify users if they need help with a workout, like a workout app, or a physical activity app, such a walking app.
“This is a really big deal, because the majority of the shoes on the market don’t even have the right kind of fitness features,” said T.J. Zuber, senior vice president at Fitbit.
The platform is a crucial piece of the puzzle for consumers who are increasingly using their smartwatch or wearable for more than simply checking their heart rate or fitness.
It also makes it easier for companies to get their footy on, Zuber said.
“You don’t have to have a smartphone, you don’t need a fitness tracker, you just need an app, and they can come to you,” Zuber added.
The Fitbit Surge, a smart watch that comes in two versions, includes a feature called Accelerometer that monitors your foot speed and ankle angle.
A user could use it to track their step and ankle position.
The Fitbit Charge HR, a fitness band that includes a built in accelerometer, is the most recent smartwatch to offer a feature.
“As a fitness tracker, we think we can be an early adopter, and we can provide a really great app for people,” said Fitbit CEO Eric Schulman.
“The Surge is really about giving people the best experience possible with a fitness app, even when they’re not necessarily trying to get fit.”
Smartphones are becoming increasingly more popular, but they’re still in their infancy.
That means it’s impossible to gauge the quality of the software for smartwatches or other wearables that come with a smart chip.
And smartwatch software is already becoming more sophisticated.
The technology that powers most fitness trackrs today is based on accelerometers that measure the motion of a user’s wrist, wrist movements and the position of the device.
It’s a far cry from the technology that powered the first smart watch, which was developed by a Japanese company, and that was a decade ago.
But that’s slowly changing, with companies like Jawbones, Jawbone Up and Fitbit working on smartwands and trackers that offer more advanced sensors.
Some smartwares have gone beyond the accelerometers.
For example, Jawbones recently launched the Jawbone Charge HR 3, a high-end smartwatch that includes sensors to measure the shape and motion of the wrist and ankle.
The watch can measure up to five different parameters, including the amount of movement, pace and distance of a stride.
Fitbit is hoping that with this new software update, users will have a better idea of whether their smartwalls are being used correctly.
“I think the key is going to be that people understand that their phone is doing more than just measuring steps, but it’s also recording steps, and then when the phone does it in real time, that’s a very powerful piece of information,” Zubner said.