Those innovative people at The Carephone [previous TA items] look like they are about to do it again with a shoe with a GPS tracking device embedded in the heel and with conductive charging so that it never needs to be charged by plugging it in.
This prototype was demonstrated earlier this week at the Naidex exhibition and apparently met with an enthusiastic reception from visitors.
They would also appreciate comments and observations from Telecare Aware readers, since you are among the first in the industry to hear about it.
About time- brilliant for Autistic range ‘runner’s that won’t tolerate a pocket/pendant type sensor. Family of such children/young adults experience such anxiety when they go missing. Put inside trainers or other favourite shoes it’s a great way to locate a missing person.
Thanks Lynda, for you comments. We have done some work with Autism Concern and some like our current mobile phone option as it can be used as a fully functioning mobile phone with the support and tracking hidden away in the back ground. But as you know there is not a one solution fits all so we are developing as many different products as possible to suit as many needs as possible.
A few comments on Facebook too:
Fantastic. This is what families are asking for – a device that is integrated into something ‘normal’ as opposed to specific devices.
You can always forget your mobile that has a tracker when you leave the house but rarely do people forget to put their shoes on.
Get Clarks or similar to put it in their shops – a High Street presence is what is needed to see the public’s reaction as opposed to the professionals.
Definitely a step in the right direction … During training sessions we have discussed this as a development that will address some short comings of current GPS location technology – namely the compliance with charging and carrying/wearing the GPS locator.
It is hard to comment in detail or raise specific questions on the limited information available – did you make any film of the recent demonstration Stephen?
Obviously don’t expect you to divulge any commercial in confidence stuff but how early in the prototype stages are you? This will need considerable testing to reassure people of its efficacy I suspect?
There continues to be a need for a diverse range of tracker devices that would mean that there’s one suitable for everyone. The GPS shoe idea was introduced in the States over a year ago and are available to purchase on-line in lots of different forms (http://www.aetrex.com/aetrex-gps/). Their launch led to a debate on whether the GPS module should be in a slipper, a loafer or a sneaker, and whether it might be placed retrospectively in the individual’s existing shoes.
The charging issue was also a problem – so it’s great to see that it has been addressed, though it might be even smarter if the act of walking produced the charge needed to power the GPS device through energy scavenging.
I would be interested to test the performance of a shoe based device when the antenna is going to be shielded not only by the shoe but also by the body of the wearer. Perhaps the most ideal location therefore for such devices might be in a hat or on a pair of spectacles – but that’s also true for a fall detector – so that could be the next challenge – an integrated falls and location device!