Blame it on increasingly sedentary jobs in which we spend hours slouching in a chair if you want, but a lot of us have posture that, quite frankly, sucks. A new Kickstarter device promises to help us solve that, however, courtesy of what may very well be the world’s smartest insoles.
Developed by health experts in Austria, Stapp One will fit into your regular shoe, where they use state-of-the-art textile sensors to collect information about your posture, distribution of weight, movement, and location. Through this approach, its creators claim the insoles can gather details including your weight, calorie burn, posture, activity, and skeletal deformities. This information is then sent to a connected smartphone app and presented to you in a manner that’s understandable, helpful, and easy to use.
While a lot of these metrics can be measured through other fitness trackers, Stapp One’s big claim to fame is the fact that it can hone in on postural problems. In particular, it says it can recognize and help correct back pain, foot pain, neck pain, restricted movement, foot deformities, misalignment of the spine, and musculoskeletal weakness. It’s like having a tiny physiotherapist in your shoe!
“It all started with back pain that got worse every day at the desk or on the plane,” Peter Krimmer, managing director of Strapp One, told Digital Trends. “During a lunch with my friend, the physicist Philip Olbrich, together we had the flash of inspiration to measure the daily movements with a footprint — using an intelligent insole. We started searching for a podiatrist and got lucky within only a few weeks. When I met the renowned Austrian podiatrist Sylvia Strell for the first time, we knew that this was going to work. We ‘just’ had to put Sylvia’s brain into the little CPU within our insoles.”
Kimmer said that the technology is the result of years of collaboration with scientific partners in the fields of podiatry, sports medicine, biomechanics and textile physics. While no peer-reviewed studies have yet been carried out, he claims that the device is more than 95 percent accurate when it comes to recognizing problems. A study will be carried out by a U.S. university later in 2018.
If you’re interested in getting your hands (or, at least, feet) on the Strapp One, you can currently pledge money for one on Kickstarter. As always, we suggest reading this point to alert yourselves of the risks of crowdfunding campaigns first. Prices start at 189 euros ($232), with shipping set to take place in August.