Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Trainers take sole charge of runners' safety

TRAINING shoes with a computerised "brain" which could protect runners from injury were yesterday hailed as the future of footwear technology.

The advance came as Sony Ericsson unveiled a mobile phone that stores music and could rival the iPod.

The Adidas 1, which contains a tiny computer in the soles that measures changes in compression each time the wearer’s foot hits the ground, goes on sale later this week at £175 a pair.

A tiny microprocessor, as small and light as a postage stamp, performs thousands of calculations per second based on readings from the sensor in the heel of the shoe.

A signal is then sent to a small motor-driven cable system which changes the shape and cushioning level of the heel accordingly.

Hard surfaces tell the microprocessor to slacken the cable and make the heel more supple, while soft surfaces have the opposite effect.

The technology is powered by a watch-sized battery in the sole which is said to last for 100 hours of running.

Adidas - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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