Golf can be a seriously frustrating game, where tiny technique shifts have a huge impact on the mechanics of your swing. Anyone who's tried to play the perfect 18 holes will know it's dead easy to go from a massive slice to a horrendous hook with just one small tweak, so cold hard data about what you're doing can be invaluable in shaving a few shots from the scorecard. Iofit is hoping its new shoes are the answer to (some of) the cursing, by analyzing your balance to work on your swing "from the ground up."
In the past, swing monitoring technology has largely been the preserve of watches or trackers clipped to the shaft of a golf club. Although systems like that can effectively track the path of a club, there's a lot more to the perfect swing than just the hands. That's where Iofit steps in with a set of shoes designed to paint a picture of swing mechanics using the wearer's weight transfer to work out where there's room for improvement.
Driving the Iofit system is a set of pressure sensors embedded in the outsole. Once they're connected to the companion iOS or Android app, the system uses a posture analysis algorithm to measure changes in pressure distribution as they happen.
That means the app will lay out information about which foot is being favored, whether there's more pressure on the front or rear of each foot, and how weight is being transferred through the ball. Even bulkier, John Daly types are supported by the sensors, with a maximum operating weight of 150 kg (330 lb).
Based on this information, the app provides feedback about what elements of the swing need changing. This data can be backed up by video overlay of the swing, with an option to directly compare that footage with footage of swings from professionals. If that isn't enough, there are detailed breakdowns of how your summaries stack up against a player of your choice.
Having studied the app feedback, there's an option to practice an improved swing, and receive feedback on how consistent those practice swings were. If those practice swings go really well, there's even an option to share them with coaches or friends through the app.
Currently, Iofit is seeking US$30,000 on Kickstarter. Pledges start at $5, but early birds will need to fork out $189 to get their hands on a pair of Iofit shoes. Pledging $380 will get you two pairs, with big pledges connected to big quantities. Two different designs are available, one with a sportier look, and another with a fancy pattern for golfers with fancier tastes. If all goes as planned, shoes will be shipped from February 2017.