Innovation That Matters

Self-balancing shoe aims to prevent elderly users from falling

Work & Lifestyle

B-Shoe uses motion-detecting technology and algorithms to sense when a user has lost balance and brings the foot to a stable position.

It is an unfortunate fact of ageing that bodies become less responsive, but, as we’ve seen with various innovations such as a wearable that alerts carers when vulnerable patients wander away, assistive technology can help prevents accidents before they happen, which is exactly the thinking behind the B-Shoe.

The B-Shoe is a connected shoe designed to help prevent falls in the elderly, a phenomenon that unfortunately leads to many deaths every year and puts an enormous financial burden on healthcare systems. Everyone has a natural reflex that detects when they’re imbalanced while walking and corrects the stance back into balanced by taking a backwards step. In the elderly, however, this reflex is slow to detect and kick in, resulting in a fall before rebalancing can occur. With B-Shoe, Motion sensors embedded in the shoe detect when a moment of imbalance occurs, using sensitive algorithms that prevent false detection. These sensors feed a traction device located in the heal of the shoe that draws the foot backwards, acting as the backwards step, correcting posture and preventing a fall. And if the fall does still occur for whatever reason, the shoe will be connected to a smart device that will alert caregivers that a fall has occurred. The B-Shoe is still in working prototype phase, with mass production predicted to take place in 2019.

Shoes are proving to be another target for the wearable tech market with recent innovations including an e-ink shoe that creates dynamic patterns on users’ feet and smart trainers that self-tighten and adjust temperature. What other innovations could we see users walking around in?




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