Verily, Alphabet’s health subsidiary, is following in the footsteps of Apple by using fall detection technology. But unlike Apple, which featured fall detection in its smartwatches, Verily wants to use it in smart shoes.
The company has been looking for partners to co-develop shoes with sensors embedded to monitor the wearer’s movement and weight, as well as to measure falls, reports CNBC.
According to CNBC, Verily has already created a prototype of the smart shoe design, which it’s been showing off to prospective partners in private meetings.
One of the symptoms of health problems like congestive heart failure is sudden changes in a person’s weight. Wearing smart shoes that can accurately monitor your weight could be a way to alert an individual of a more serious health condition right away.
The fall detection feature in the Apple Watch 4 can trigger an emergency SOS call if it detects a hard fall and subsequent inactivity.
Verily, previously known as Google Life Sciences, became a separate company under Google’s parent company Alphabet in 2015. It is tracked financially within Alphabet’s “Other Bets” segment.
The company has been creating health and wellness-focused devices. It created Liftware, a special spoon that levels and stabilizes on its own, for people with movement disorders or limited mobility. And last year, Verily started developing a smart lens that can monitor glucose levels through a users’ tears. But unfortunately, the project was halted due to unavoidable circumstances.
“If Verily progresses with the project, the shoes could have a wide range of health-related uses,” said the CNBC report. “For instance, sudden weight gain can be a sign that the body is retaining fluid, which is a symptom of congestive heart failure. Another area of interest is fall detection, two of the people said, which could be useful for seniors in particular.”