Suspect you are a heel striker? Confident that you land perfectly midfoot when you run? Redmond-based Sensoria’s Smart Socks, which have sensors woven into the fabric, enable real-time monitoring of foot landing and cadence (steps per minute).
Three pressure sensors are embedded into the socks’ fabric and are connected via gold threads to magnetic contacts on the ankle. Sensoria’s sensor-making process is kept secret — only CTO Mario Esposito and his wife, Victoria, a materials engineer at Sensoria, know the details. The socks are machine washable, although Sensoria recommends air drying for maximum product life. The socks come in four sizes that range from a women’s size 3 to a men’s size 15.
The brains of the system are contained in a flexible anklet that mates to the magnetic contacts on the sock. The anklet transmits data to a smartphone app, which records and interprets your running stats. Originally designed for iPhones, the software is now in advanced beta for Android. The latest version of the Caledos Runner app for Windows Phone is compatible with Sensoria socks.
The user interface is straightforward, with easy-to-read graphics showing pace, distance, cadence, and more. The problem with using a smartphone app to track data, though, is that not everyone wants to run with a phone. Sensoria recognizes this limitation and envisions future versions that are compatible with smart watches.
The socks are sold in a bundle with two anklets, a USB charger, and two pairs of socks for $199. Sensoria began shipping the bundles in December 2014. As of early April, it had just finished fulfilling orders from its Indiegogo campaign and was putting new customers on a wait list. Sensoria aims to have its production process ready for immediate ordering by mid-May, and will ship products within five business days.
The socks can be ordered only through Sensoria’s website (sensoriafitness.com), but the company’s long-term goals include distribution in running specialty stores. Production volume is currently limited to about 1,200 bundles per month, though, so the company is not yet ready for this step.