Smart Socks and Geak Ring may have role in healthcare

wearable balance assessing socksSmart socks and Geak Rings are among the latest wearable tech to be announced and both may have implications for healthcare.  US-based Heapsylon says it is developing sensor-equipped socks that help their owners monitor their balance while walking or running. Meanwhile, Chinese company Shanda has unveiled the Geak Ring – a finger-worn device that can unlock a user’s smartphone or pass data to others.

Sensoria socks have sensors built into their fabric to measure pressure readings in order to provide data about how their owner walks or runs.  The socks attach to an ankle band that then communicates the gathered data via Bluetooth to a smartphone or computer running the firm’s software.  The developers say the washable product could provide real-time feedback to runners, allowing them to adjust their strides to reduce the risk of injury.  In addition they say the product could be used to help monitor diabetic foot ulcers or warn of elderly patients losing their balance to alert carers they are at risk of falling.

Shanghai-based Shanda’s Geak Ring uses an NFC (near field communication) chip to identify the accessory and can be used to pass contact details to others.  The firm says this can be used to unlock smartphones by tapping the two together as an alternative to keying in a password. In addition it says the device can trigger downloads of the owner’s photos, contact information and other data on to others handsets by touching them against the ring.  This may have implications for healthcare and the transfer of health data.  For now the product only exists as a prototype, the firm hopes to bring it to market via a fundraising campaign to be launched on Indiegogo later this week.