Samsung spinoff unveils smartphone-connected fitness tracking shoes

By Aditi Pai
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Salted Venture, a Samsung Electronics spinoff, has unveiled fitness tracking running shoes, called IoFit, ahead of the big tech event in Barcelona at the end of the month, Mobile World Congress. Details are still forthcoming on when the running shoes will commercially launch.

“There’s so much valuable information coming from our feet, and it’s being wasted,” Salted Venture CEO Jacob Cho said in a statement. “So, we wanted to make use of this data and utilize it to provide value to people. That was the driving force behind IoFit.”

The company’s running sneakers offer a similar functionality to force plates, an offering that fitness centers use for posture rehabilitation. The outsoles of IoFit shoes are embedded with accelerometers and pressure sensors so that the shoes can collect information on the user’s balance, weight shift, ground contact force, and location of center of gravity. 

This data is sent to a companion app. From there a user is able to play back their workout to analyze their form and how their stance is affecting their fitness routine. The app will offer a customizable coaching tool that coaches can use to draw on the video or leave the athlete comments. If the user wants to see a comparison of their stance to the correct stance, the app can put a simulation of their stance side by side with a figure using the correct stance.

“We want to be a platform and a coaching tool for people to use. It’s an add-on to the interactive experience between people,” Salted Venture COO Sehee Lee said in a statement. “You can’t outweigh the benefits that come from a real human-to-human interactive experience.”

Salted Venture plans to partner with a footwear company to further develop and market its offering.

“Our goal is to empower people who love fitness and sports to train smarter and coach better,” Cho said. “We want to see our products being used by inspiring athletes, coaches and individuals all over the world and to make their training and coaching experience the best it can be.”

Earlier this year, rumors surfaced that Samsung may be launching a new fitness tracking smartwatch. The device, which Samsung reportedly calls Triathalon internally, will track activity as well as heart rate. Some have predicted that the device will use the bioprocessor that Samsung revealed at CES this year. Other rumored features include body fat measurement and a hydration monitor.