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From smart watches to fitness trackers to smart glasses and more, wearable tech has firmly established itself as a significant part of our lives. But how far will it all go? How about some ‘smart’ adaptive soles for your shoes!? Here’s Wahu…
Image credit: Wahu
Winner of this year’s Innovation Award in the "wearable technologies" category at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)*, Wahu is an electro-pneumatically adaptive shoe sole made in Italy.
The team behind Wahu believe traditional shoe soles force wearers to make too many compromises as they go about their day. Wahu addresses this by automatically adapting its morphology to changes both in the external environment, like humidity, temperature or terrain, and in the dynamic state of the user.
Grippy nodules are pumped out when Wahu detects a change of terrain. Image credit: Wahu
So with Wahu, you could be walking along a smooth road and your smart soles are silently doing nothing (or so you think). Then, they detect a change in terrain – let’s say you encounter an off-road section along your walk – and your adaptive soles extend some chunky, shock-absorbing pads to help you gain more traction, as well as add comfort cushioning.
Moved by a set of microprocessors, Wahu’s adaptive pads can be manually operated via a smartphone app, whereby you can select the mode you want, or let the soles choose to do their own thing based on the terrain.
Furthermore, Wahu creates a digital signature of your stride while you are walking, enabling it to analyse pressure in the arch of your foot and adjusting itself accordingly as you walk to relieve. Wahu can also ‘prevent falls’, although how this would actually work in reality remains to be seen.
What do you think? Does the world need adaptive soles, or is this going to be a flash in the pan idea? Tweet us @PolytecNews