If you're a fitness fanatic looking to use technology to monitor your activity, then slapping on a wristband like a Fitbit or a Jawbone might seem the easiest option. But in the eyes of French shoe company Glagla, there are things our footwork can tell us about our fitness that other body movements cannot. At this week's CES, it has wheeled out a pair of connected sports shoes that it claims can track fitness metrics with unrivaled accuracy.
The company's so-called Zhor-Tech technology is what might give this otherwise unremarkable shoe certain appeal in a connected era. The technology involves a Bluetooth chip for pairing with an Android and iOS app and a sensor built into the insole. This, the company claims, enables the Glagla Connect shoes to count steps taken, calories and calculate altitude with better precision than other fitness tracking devices on the market.
Connectivity aside, Glagla says its new offering will promote better posture and foot health, pointing to three particular design characteristics of the insole: arch support, a specialized heel cushion intended to spread impact along the length of the foot and a flexible section towards the front designed to bend with the natural movement of the feet.
Glagla claims that its Connect will be "the first connected shoe to be available on the worldwide market." But when it does eventually hit the shelves (a release date is estimated for later in 2015, early 2016), it may be going toe-to-toe with a stampede of high-tech footwear. Currently available for pre-order, the Lechal shoe pairs with Google Maps and delivers vibrations to guide you en-route, while sportswear heavyweight Adidas launched a smart, connected football boot back in 2011.
The Glagla Connect's insoles are charged via a USB port, but there's no word yet on battery life, charging times or pricing. It will be available in men's and women's styles, with different color schemes including black, blue, purple pink and orange.