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Next: Conclusions Up: Smart clothing Previous: Smart eyeglasses

Smart shoes

Inside my running shoes, I have an array of transducers that picks up the impact upon the ground. Although the transducers produce power, it is not sufficient to power my computer (other research has actually been directed at obtaining power from shoes[7]). The shoes supply my person-worn computer with information about how my feet are impacting on the ground, and this information could be used to control an external process in an intimate manner that does not involve conscious thought or effort. An example might be to use the footstep information to establish a walking-activity index (a sophisticated pedometer of sorts that also measures forces and walking patterns), and combine this walking-activity index with heart measurements, resulting in a saliency quotient. The saliency quotient, derived from some measure of heart activity divided by some measure of foot activity would rise significantly should someone pull a gun on the wearer and demand cash. The reason the quotient would rise is that the footsteps would stop and the heart would beat faster.

Such a situation calls for maximum frame-rate and maximum transmit power (e.g. for maximum bit-rate and reliablity), to increase the liklihood that the assailant would be seen and later identified. During all of this, no conscious thought or effort should be needed from the wearer. As with Thomas Bass' casino example, the above scenario exemplifies the need for interaction without the appearance of conscious thought or effort. Imagine, instead, if the wearer asked the assailant for a few minutes to dial 911 from a cellular phone. There are many other less-extreme examples in day-to-day interaction that call for interactions that don't appear to be requiring conscious thought or effort, as well as those that truly don't require conscious thought or effort.

By combining smart clothing with the ability to infer emotional states, and the like[8], we might in the future, interact with other processes, and with other people, in many new and interesting ways.



next up previous
Next: Conclusions Up: Smart clothing Previous: Smart eyeglasses



Steve Mann
Wed Feb 14 23:28:15 EST 1996