"Smart" equestrian boots give errant feet a buzz
In equestrian riding, it's important to keep one's heels pointing downward within the stirrups – if the heels move up, the rider has less control. This can be difficult to learn, however, which is why Gallop Equine has created the sensor-packin' Bluetooth-connected SmartBoot.
The boots themselves look pretty normal, and are hand-made from calf leather. Beneath the insole of each one, though, is an inertial measurement unit (an accelerometer/gyroscope combo) that detects when the heel has moved higher than the toes. When this happens, the rider is notified via a built-in transducer which softly buzzes that foot.
Utilizing an accompanying iOS/Android app, users can track their progress over time, seeing how their foot position is improving as they train. Riders can also utilize that app to select how often the foot-buzzes occur, should they become too distracting.
The battery in each boot can be recharged via a USB port in the sole, with one charge reportedly being good for about 10 hours of riding.
Company co-founders Maria Senf and Eucario Matos are attempting to fund production of the SmartBoot via a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$750 is required to get a pair. Assuming they reach production, the planned retail price is $1,000. Potential buyers might also be interested in the saddle-mounted Balios device, which measures ride factors such as gait, movement symmetry, cadence, speed, stride length and jump trajectory.
There's more information on the SmartBoot in the following video.