France-based startup patents technology for smart shoes that reduce the need for other wearables and helps industrial workers keep in touch via toe-tapped codes.
With thousands of workers dying in work-related accidents every year, French company Intellinium was founded to help increase personal safety. The startup hopes that their new patented technology will help predict accidents and reduce emergency response time for injured workers.
Intellinium’s new design aims to transform a passive work equipment into an active wearable. Ideally, the connected shoe will help reduce electronic and other hardware use and waste, as well as the number of different wearables required for full protection. The smart system uses a pressure point inside the shoe that the wearer pushes with his or her big toe. Messages are sent and received via a series of long and short alphabet symbols, like Morse code. Should the wearer be unable to use foot pressure to communicate, an external membrane allows for messaging by hand.
As cities become increasingly connected, workplace safety is of growing concern, particularly in industries of heavy manual labor. On-site health and safety monitoring is often easier than providing enough and appropriate wearables and is a good first step for increased worker safety. Connected to the cloud, this startup’s safety monitoring tool checks environmental hazards such as noise, pollutants and UV levels and issues on-site and remote alerts if safe levels of any are exceeded. As technology and materials advance, wearables are becoming increasingly strong and flexible. Designed specifically for industrial workers, this small device tracks a wearer’s actions to provide suggestions for reducing the risk of back injury.
Safety shoes and boots are the single piece of personal protective equipment worn by all manual laborers. What other industries have a similarly ubiquitous piece of machinery, equipment or clothing that could be connected for increased efficiency and safety?