11 Aug Footfalls develops shoe upper that measures gait via knitted sensors
Nottingham, UK based Footfalls & Heartbeats, a smart textiles developer has created a knitted shoe upper which can measure gait in a person whether walking or running. The sensor embedded shoe uppers are made on a Santoni X machine.
Kiwi founder Simon McMaster commented on the new development: “A sneak preview of knitted shoes, developed by the genius knitting team at Footfalls. These shoes produced on a Santoni X machine, knitted in under 12 minutes per shoe, are able to measure gait and footfall whether walking or running.”
“No embedded electronics just knitted textile sensors that measure pressure and then relay that true on body movement to a UI of choice. Real steps, extraordinary innovation using state-of-the-art knitting technology.”
Footfalls & Heartbeats was founded by New Zealand chemist Simon McMaster who brings many years’ experience researching intelligent textiles. The company has developed a revolutionary and proprietary process for manufacturing smart fabric which uses nano-scale interactions within the textile to make the fabric itself the sensor, avoiding the need for wires or miniature electronics.
Footfalls and Heartbeats moved from New Zealand to the United Kingdom in 2015 where it has thrived in Nottingham, the home of weft knitting. Starting out with a small team in the Ingenuity Building on the Jubilee Campus, Footfalls has recently moved into a larger space in the Innovation Building at BioCity.
Footfalls and Heartbeats move to BioCity allowed a space to house a specialised Santoni circular knitting machine that is capable of intarsia knitting, which is vital to the functionality of the technology.
This machine is the first of its kind in the UK and will soon be accompanied by more knitting machines as Footfalls and Heartbeats grows in size over the years to come.
Recently the company moved to make protective face masks for personnel returning to work in the UK – Footfalls & Heartbeats to make masks for support workers.