CHAPTER 5

Intelligent Shoes for Human–Computer Interface1

5.1 INTRODUCTION

Recently, much research in the integration of computing and sensor technologies into human clothing has been initiated. Nonetheless, one area of wearable devices has remained relatively unexplored. This is the design and implementation of sensor- and computer-equipped intelligent shoes. Some work for human gait has focused on foot parameter detection, such as temperature, humidity, heel-off time, gait velocity, and so on. There has been little work in analyzing the foot signal despite a lot of useful data that can be extracted from the shoe. The on-going miniaturization revolution in electronics, sensor, and battery technologies, driven largely by the cell phone and handheld device markets, has made possible an intelligent shoe implementation. Along with these hardware advances, progress in human data modeling and machine learning algorithms have also made possible the analysis and interpretation of complex, multichannel sensor data.

The data glove [1], a standard input device in virtual reality applications, is used for capturing finger and wrist motion. It interprets data from different sensors and lets the user be involved in a virtual environment. Hand motion is much more investigated than foot motion in that human hands are more flexible and can perform more complicated operations.

Inspired by the successful applications of the data glove, we now investigate the possible applications of a shoe-based ...

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