Colorado Patent of the Month – January 2022

Most people who have just started running don’t realize how important form really is. Without good form, you could get injured or cause long term strain on your ankles, knees, and back. The same applies to walking with poor form. While you could hire a trainer to provide form correction and tips, this is expensive and time intensive. There is a large community of people who have taken to barefoot running to reconnect with more natural form. Ofcourse, you can’t go barefoot everywhere. Most stores have a “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” policy, and other places are simply not safe for barefoot walking.

Inspired by the barefoot movement, Feel the World, Inc. developed a shoe that closely mimics the feelings of being barefoot while providing the look and safety of a shoe. Recently, they have expanded this design to incorporate biofeedback surrounding your gait.

The use of wearable sensors can either be incorporated into the shoe itself, or simply worn by the user. The sensor tracks motion as the user walks, sprints, or runs including cadence, stride length, and vertical load forces during ground contact. This data is then analyzed and feedback is given to the user. This feedback is based on a comparison of the user’s movement compared to an ideal movement pattern. The feedback can provide suggested adjustments to improve gait. For instance, the data shows your stride is too short and rapid so the feedback suggests you extend your stride for a smoother glide.

The comparative feedback can also be modified based on the user’s experience or goals. The gait for sprinting vs. long-distance running is very different, and changes as you increase your speed. So as the user advances in their skill or changes their goals, the feedback can reflect this.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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